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MY LITTLE TRAIN by Satomi Ichikawa


by Satomi Ichikawa, illustrated by Satomi Ichikawa

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-25453-6
Publisher: Philomel

A seemingly self-propelled toy train narrates this sweetly invigorating tale while chauffeuring similarly mobile animals to their chosen destinations. At the first stop, the fishbowl “pond,” Duck dives in; the field that Sheep leaps into is in an Impressionist painting propped against a wall. After Bear is dropped off on the “mountaintop” (in a moment ever-so-gently reminiscent of The Little Engine That Could without a touch of that title’s mawkish sentimentality), a heap of couch pillows presents navigational challenges, and a baby kangaroo who’s stowed away for the ride proves strong and helpful in righting tumbled cars. Ichikawa’s simple, repetitious text should attract lapsitters, storytimers and beginning readers. Her soft-hued, full-bleed watercolors shift perspective often in a household full of books, toys and tacked-up children’s drawings. The absence of human characters permits child readers to fully engage in the story’s pretend play, as a new group of toy passengers queues up at “Central Station.” Gently winning. (Picture book. 2-5)