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STEAM TRAIN, DREAM TRAIN by Sherri Duskey Rinker


by Sherri Duskey Rinker ; illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 16th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4521-0920-6
Publisher: Chronicle

“Through the darkness, clickety-clack...  / coming closer, down the track...”

The night train is arriving; it carries an unusual cargo and an even more surprising crew. Darkly lit pastel illustrations reveal monkeys, kangaroos, an elephant and various other animals, all of whom are ready to load freight appropriate to their eating habits, anatomy or abilities into a variety of different, named railroad cars. Rhymed text full of onomatopoeia describes the monkeys packing bananas, monkey bars, hula hoops and a sock monkey into the boxcar. Kangaroos toss balls into the hopper, and elephants squirt different-colored paints into tankers. Whimsical, dreamlike imagery continues as a polar bear loads a giant ice-cream sundae onto the freezer car, while the tortoises drive race cars onto an autorack. While it’s not a strikingly original selection, a feeling of warmth and an old-fashioned nursery aura both abound here. Train and animal enthusiasts alike will enjoy the gentle action and may just drift off as the train fills up and the animals go to sleep, safely tucked in on flatbed cars that hold…beds. “Steam train, dream train... / chhhhhh...goodnight.”

A solid companion to Rinker and Lichtenheld’s Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site (2011). (Picture book. 3-6)