• Kim Bogren Owen

Riding the Rails in Books: Books About Trains


Do you remember the first book you bought?

I do. I purchased the Little Engine that Could by Watty Piper and George Hauman at a book fair at my school in first or second grade. That book still holds special place in my heart. I was fascinated by trains as they were not something I saw everyday, and the message of not giving up in the face of what seemed like an impossible challenge also resonated with me.

Like I did, children love trains! The rhythm of the wheels on the rails, the length of them, and the thought of where they have been all enthrall young children. Share these train related books with your young train enthusiast.

Alphabet Trains by Samantha R. Vamos and Ryan O'Rourke introduces children to different types of trains from around the world- one for each letter of the alphabet. Link the first letter of your child's name with the type of train that starts with that same letter, and play with the sounds of the letters by making up words that start with the same sound.

Black and White: Trains by David Stewart captures the attention of infants while engaging toddlers and preschoolers with its naming of different types of train cars. Put different images of train cars in the art area, along with paper, string, and glue, so children can make their own trains.

Using rhythmic text, Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo by Kevin Lewis follows a train on its journey to the city to deliver its freight. Full of the sounds of trains, young children will love to help make the sounds! Paint with trains to create your own train journey, and to explore colors.

Using simple, minimal text Freight Train by Donald Crews creates the feeling of a train traveling through the countryside. Using colors to help children identify several different types of train cars, this book also introduces children to the names of those cars.

Explore the history of laying train track in John Henry: An American Legend by Ezra Jack Keats. An essential read for any child interested in trains. Ask your child to make up their own legend about a train after reading this book.

The Little Train by Lois Lenski is a sweet, old-fashioned book about a train engineer and his little train. A classic that every child will treasure.

Learn about the history and running of trains with Locomotive by Brian Floca. This excellent book takes the reader across the United States from Ohio to California all while looking at what it took to get there. After reading this book, create your own train out of boxes. Add engineer and conductor hats, as well as tickets and luggage so your children can take their own trip on a train.

Explore numbers and trains with Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3 by Sherri Duskey and Tom Lichtenheld. This fun book is perfect for bedtime!

As always, I hope you enjoy these recommendations. Feel free to share with credit to Words Reflected and Kim Bogren Owen on Facebook, your website, or in your newsletter. Please add your recommendations for additional books about trains in the comments.

(This blog uses the Amazon affiliate program so when you click on the title and purchase through Amazon, you are supporting us! If you don't purchase through these links, please, be sure to support your independent, local bookstore or find them at your library!)

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