Little Train follows Mommy and Daddy Train’s advice to return safely after his first solo journey.
There’s a vintage feeling to the digitally manipulated pastel illustrations that would make Little Train and his family seem right at home alongside Hardie Gramatky’s Little Toot and Watty Piper’s Little Engine That Could. The story, too, has a classic feel to it, as Little Train’s journey follows a home-away-home plotline. When he sets off from the train shed alone for the first time, Mommy and Daddy Train offer encouragement and the titular advice that he “follow the track all the way back” in order to return home after his journey. He’s a bit too excited to let their words sink in at first, and he’s soon caught up in enjoying a field he passes through, crossing a bridge, climbing a mountain, and rolling by a river. The palette darkens considerably when Little Train reaches the end of the track and stares out to sea. Rain begins to fall, and Little Train must think back to his parents’ advice. He quickly recalls their words, and then retraces his journey home (with a little help from a mouse who operates the railroad switch), proceeding backward through scenes now bathed in moon- and starlight. As promised, Mommy and Daddy Train are awaiting his return, and his success makes Little Train determined to seek out “even BIGGER adventures” the next day.
All aboard for a great storytime pick. (Picture book. 2-5)