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Trains: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about trains?

Choo choo! The iconic train is a classic vehicle, so there’s no wonder there are so many fabulous books with trains at their center. From old classics like “The Little Engine That Could” and “The Caboose That Got Loose” to new classics like “Steam Train, Dream Train” on to some hidden gems like “Choo-Choo Colors” and “Alphabet Trains”… this list has them all. So “All Aboard!” You’re about to be swept away on a host of train adventures.

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Top 10 Books About Trains

#1
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The Little Train
Written & illustrated by Lois Lenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-2

In a new board book edition of the delightful story, Engineer Small at the throttle takes the little train on its run from Tiny Town to the big city.

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#2
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Thomas the Tank Engine Story Collection
Written by Rev. W. Awdry & illustrated by C. Reginald Dalby and John T. Kenney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A collection of fourteen previously published stories featuring Thomas, Sir Topham Hat, and their railway friends.

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#3
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The Polar Express
Written & illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

1986 Caldecott Medal Winner

A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . .

Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish.

For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic. In this 30th anniversary edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is revealed in a never-before-seen fashion, with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes author’s note, downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson, and golden “All Aboard” ornament.

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#4
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The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat!

The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain.

This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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#5
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The Secret Subway
Written by Shana Corey & illustrated by Red Nose Studio
Thoughts from The Goodfather
The Secret Subway is both very engaging and enjoyable. It entertains readers while also educating them about this fascinating piece of New York City subway history. The illustrations are unique and wonderfully match this tale of an inventor's ambitious undertaking.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“New York City in the 1860s was a mess- crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece-and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track. The Secret Subwaywill wow readers, just as Beach’s underground train wowed riders over a century ago.”

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#6
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Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Thoughts from Readerly Mom
This book is really everything I needed in a board book. Its rhyming text flows well and is fun to read, and there are never too many words on a single page. It contains loads of things that are interesting to toddlers and easy to talk about, from trains and race cars to animals and toys. All of these elements combine to form a board book that is a great way to fill time while waiting in line, running errands, or keeping a little one quiet.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

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#7
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Overground Railroad
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

**A window into a child’s experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston**.**

As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North– one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains.

Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own– until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity.

James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet**, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award**

* “Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.”–Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

* “a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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#8
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When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

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#9
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Down by the Station
Written & illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Did you ever wonder who rides the zoo train early in the morning? Climb aboard and join the mischievous, sleepy, and playful baby animals on their way to the children’s zoo. The engineer has to get them there before the first busload of children arrives . . . but these baby animals just want to have fun! This delightful adventure full of mishaps, daring rescues, and a runaway red balloon has a cumulative text and playful animal noises that will have readers singing along-if they’re not racing to the zoo to ride the train themselves.

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#10
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All Aboard! Pacific Northwest
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Every part of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. In the latest title of this popular board book series, babies and parents climb aboard to explore the Pacific Northwest and its fun activities, from shopping, to hiking, to skiing, and more! Ride along from Oregon to Washington to British Columbia to discover cities like Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle and sights like Mt. Rainier and Haystack Rock. All aboard for a sensational experience in travel! Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Trains and...

Books About Trains and History

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The Secret Subway
Written by Shana Corey & illustrated by Red Nose Studio
Thoughts from The Goodfather
The Secret Subway is both very engaging and enjoyable. It entertains readers while also educating them about this fascinating piece of New York City subway history. The illustrations are unique and wonderfully match this tale of an inventor's ambitious undertaking.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“New York City in the 1860s was a mess- crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece-and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track. The Secret Subwaywill wow readers, just as Beach’s underground train wowed riders over a century ago.”

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$15.29
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$14.89
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Overground Railroad
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

**A window into a child’s experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston**.**

As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North– one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains.

Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own– until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity.

James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet**, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award**

* “Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.”–Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

* “a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

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Locomotive
Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

All aboard! From the creator of the “stunning” (Booklist) Moonshot, a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads. It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean. Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Color Train - All aboard the Color Train! This adorable two-in-one board book featuring 18 world famous artists unfolds into a 56” train bursting with color and art.

  2. Boundless - All aboard for an action-packed escapade from the internationally bestselling author of <i>Airborne </i>and the Silverwing trilogy. <p/><i>The Boundless</i>, the greatest train ever built, is on its maiden voyage across the country, and first-class passenger Will Everett is about to embark on the adventure of his life! <p/>When Will ends up in possession of the key to a train car containing priceless treasures, he becomes the target of sinister figures from his past. <p/>In order to survive, Will must join a traveling circus, enlisting the aid of Mr. Dorian, the ringmaster and leader of the troupe, and Maren, a girl his age who is an expert escape artist. With villains fast on their heels, can Will and Maren reach Will’s father and save <i>The Boundless</i> before someone winds up dead?

  3. Dragon's Gate - Otter has always dreamed of going to America, “the Land of the Golden Mountain.” There, together with his adoptive father and his hero, Uncle Foxfire, he plans to learn everything he can about American technology. Armed with this knowledge, they can all return to China and carry out the Great Work - to free China from the tyranny of the Machu and other invaders.

Want to see books about history?

Books About Trains and Culture

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When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

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Railway Children
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

After a father's abrupt arrest, his wife and children must leave their comfortable London home for a small cottage that sits near a bustling railway. While the mother struggles to make ends meet, siblings Roberta (nicknamed Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis adapt to their gloomy present with hopes of a brighter future.

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All Aboard Paris
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon - Jim was a South African railway inspector in the late 1800s who lost his legs in an accident while at work. Unable to perform all his tasks with his disability but desperate to keep his job, Jim discovered a brilliant solution, a baboon named Jack. Jim trained Jack to help him both at home and at the depot. But when the railway authorities and the public discovered a monkey on the job, Jack and Jim had to work together to convince everyone that they made a great team. This inspiring true story celebrates the history of service animals and a devoted friendship.

  2. The Train - Ashley meets her great-uncle by the old train tracks near their reserve in Nova Scotia. When she sees his sadness, he shares with her the history of those tracks. Uncle tells her that, during his childhood, the train would bring their community supplies, but there came a day when the train took away with it something much more important. One day he and the other children from the reserve were taken aboard and transported to a residential school, where their lives were changed forever. Ashley promises to wait with her uncle as he sits by the tracks, waiting for what was taken from their people to come back to them.

  3. Old Penn Station - An illustrated account of the construction, history, and demolition of one of the most famous railroad stations in America– New York City’s Penn Station.

  4. Go West! - Hop on board for the journey of a lifetime as you head out west to Los Angeles, stopping in some of North America’s best-loved cities along the way, including New York, Buffalo, Chicago, Omaha, Denver, Calgary, Vancouver, Seattle, and San Francisco. Explore how the railroad shaped the nation’s history and discover some of its most iconic locomotives in this stylishly designed book by Canadian author/illustrator, Pascal Blanchet.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Trains and Bedtime And Dreams

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Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Thoughts from Readerly Mom
This book is really everything I needed in a board book. Its rhyming text flows well and is fun to read, and there are never too many words on a single page. It contains loads of things that are interesting to toddlers and easy to talk about, from trains and race cars to animals and toys. All of these elements combine to form a board book that is a great way to fill time while waiting in line, running errands, or keeping a little one quiet.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

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Good Night, Little Engine
Written by Watty Piper and Janet Lawler & illustrated by Jill Howarth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

The 90th anniversary celebrations continue with this charming original title featuring everyone’s favorite little train is the perfect book for bedtime.

The train yard’s still. There’s not a sound. The setting sun glows all around.

After a day of play, Little Engine settles in to sleep . . . but when she hears a noise outside, she goes on a midnight ride, finding a certain someone who needs her help. Say “Good night” to Little Engine in this beautiful, rhyming picture book perfect for little ones at bedtime.

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The Goodnight Train
Written by June Sobel & illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A child’s bedtime ritual follows the imaginary journey of the Goodnight Train’s trip to the dreamland station. On board pages.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Trains Don't Sleep - Puffing, chuffing, never yawning Climbing hills as day is dawning. Trains don’t sleep, they CLANG and HOOT Cross bridges and canyons, plow through snow, charge down mountains, and meander across fields filled with sheep. And when it is time to rest and dreams are just ahead, never fear–trains don’t sleep so that you can. With the feel of a classic and vivid artwork that captures the power and majesty of trains, this is a fast-paced rhyming ode to the locomotive.

  2. Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? - “Imagines the bedtime rituals of different types of trains”–

  3. Santa and the Goodnight Train - Ho-ho-hold on to your teddy bear! The Goodnight Train follows Santa’s sleigh on a magical ride through a winter wonderland in this Christmas sequel to The Goodnight Train and The Goodnight Train Rolls On!. Fa La La! Fa La La!
    Chooo! Chooo!
     
    Next stop, the North Pole! It’s Christmas Eve, and the Goodnight Train is on a roll, racing mischievous Santa through a winter wonderland. Hear the jingle bells, taste some candy canes, and spy a flying hoof or two on a merry ride to Dreamland—with one magical detour—in this Christmas companion to _The Goodnight Train_ and _The Goodnight Train Rolls On!_ Ho-ho-hold on tight for this unforgettable holiday ride!

  4. The Goodnight Train Rolls On! (Board Book) - All aboard! This colorful companion to The Goodnight Train is leaving the station, with new nighttime hi-jinks and all the rhyme and rhythm that made the first book a bedtime read-aloud favorite. When a herd of poky sheep slows the Goodnight Train to a crawl, the Engineer’s quick thinking (and counting!) has them rolling along in no time—until one tricky sheep sends the train and its sleepy passengers tossing and turning! The clickety-clack cadence of the poetic text is sure to lull listeners to sleep, but not before they take in the candy-colored landscapes full of delightful Dreamland details to discover. All aboard!

Books About Trains and Animals

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Down by the Station
Written & illustrated by Will Hillenbrand
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Did you ever wonder who rides the zoo train early in the morning? Climb aboard and join the mischievous, sleepy, and playful baby animals on their way to the children’s zoo. The engineer has to get them there before the first busload of children arrives . . . but these baby animals just want to have fun! This delightful adventure full of mishaps, daring rescues, and a runaway red balloon has a cumulative text and playful animal noises that will have readers singing along-if they’re not racing to the zoo to ride the train themselves.

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Alphatrain
Written by Stephanie Miles and Christin Farley & illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

All aboard the Alphatrain! This adorable two-in-one board book features beautifully illustrated animals for every letter of the alphabet and can be read page-by-page as a lap book or be unfolded into a 42” train! (Perfect for play time or room decor!) In addition to the animals, each whimsically designed train car includes fun objects for each letter: Bear eats a banana, Elephant listens to earphones, and Fox wears a fez (of course). As a bonus, the back of each page lists the words of each hidden object so kids can search for them on the front of the car. A handy clasp keeps everything snuggly shut when reading time is over.

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Christmas Train
Written & illustrated by David Miles
board book
Recommend Ages: 5-6

All aboard the Christmas Train! This adorable two-in-one board book featuring 18 colorful Christmas characters unfolds into a 56” train bursting with color and holiday fun.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. First Baby Days: On the Move - A stimulating interactive first book to share with your baby. Trains, rockets, cars, and more! First Baby Days: On the Move features striking red, black, and white art meant to stimulate your baby’s vision as they are introduced to vehicles. Each scene can be extended by the pull-tabs included on each spread, making this book even more interactive.

  2. Mr. Complain Takes the Train - In this interactive story that encourages positivity and gratitude, a fussy fellow takes an extraordinary train ride, yet remains thoroughly unimpressed. Readers will hoot with laughter at this silly sendup of the sourpusses of the world. After all, doesn't everyone know a Mr. Complain or two?

  3. Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3 - Cuddle up with the beloved animal friends from the bestselling <em>Steam Train, Dream Train</em> and count on lots of fun! Little train enthusiasts will love counting from one to ten along with the dreamy train cars!

  4. The Silver Arrow - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians comes a must-read, wholly original middle-grade debut perfect for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Roald Dahl

Books About Trains and Social Themes

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The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by Dan Santat
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat!

The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain.

This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

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The Train of Lost Things
Written by Ammi-Joan Paquette
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A magical story about a boy's love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun.
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You Can! Words of Wisdom From The Little Engine That Could
Written & illustrated by Watty Piper, Charlie Hart, and Jill Howarth
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

The classic character that has inspired generations of children to believe in themselves will now inspire readers of every age in this book filled with encouraging words of wisdom. Everybody needs a little downtime for maintenance. There will always be obstacles you don’t anticipate. Wake up ready for an adventure. The Little Engine That Could is one of the most popular and enduring children’s stories of all time, and for more than eighty-five years, this classic character has encouraged readers to try their hardest to achieve their dreams. This story of determination and inspiration has now been reimagined in a charming, illustrated gift book that will speak to readers no matter what the age and no matter what the challenge. This is the perfect gift for graduation, and for everyone who may need to be reminded, “You Can!”

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  1. Trainstop - In this wordless picture book, a young girl takes a train and makes a stop at a most unusual place where she has an important task to perform.

  2. The Littlest Train - In this endearing story of a tiny toy train, the creator of the hit series Dinotrux now breathes life into more than a half-dozen trains that climb, haul, chug, zip, and zoom. In a small room, down a short flight of stairs, there lives a little toy train…about to have a BIG adventure! There’s an endless world to explore, and awe-inspiring new friends to meet. Mighty Max, Chloe Cogs, Sara Speedster, and Farley Freighter can reach all the best sights, lickety-split. But when the day is done and the sun goes down, will the littlest train find his way home? Calling all train lovers: All aboard!

Books About Trains and Friendship

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Zero Local: Next Stop: Kindness
Written by & illustrated by Ethan Murrow and Vita Murrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Board the train for a story of art, diversity, and community in a near-wordless tale told through masterful, sumptuously detailed black-and-white illustrations.

Train riders are used to stressful delays on the Zero Local line. But when a new passenger shows gratitude to the driver on their daily commute, tensions begin to ease. Eventually the artistic traveler stops riding the Zero Local line, and discord begins to creep back into the train car. Will the regular passengers find a way to restore the sense of camaraderie they once felt? Inspired by a true story, Ethan and Vita Murrow share with us a tender ode to the power of art and its ability to foster friendship and community in the most unlikely of places.

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Train!
Written & illustrated by Judi Abbot
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
The perfect book for any child that likes trains. :) Little elephant loves his trains but makes new friends who like planes, diggers, and cars. The illustrations are darling and colorful, and there are a lot of fun animals to point out in this book.
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-6

Little Elephant loves toy trains, real trains, everything trains! So his parents take him on a train ride where he meets new friends who love other toys. What will it take for them all to try new things? This book is a great choice for introducing kids to the idea of new things and new friends.

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The Little Engine That Could
Written by Watty Piper & illustrated by George Hauman and Doris Hauman
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I think it's safe to say that almost everyone loves this classic book with a can-do message for littles and adults! I love that the little engine shows perseverance, even when things are hard, and believing in yourself. It's such a great example of having a positive attitude, and that we are in charge of our thoughts and choose what we feel. :)
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-6

A classic story now in a lap-book format has been slightly abridged and features the famous illustrations from the original edition that will keep toddlers cheering on the little blue engine as she continues chugging along.

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  1. Art Barn (Noah's Park) - Welcome to Noah’s Park! From celebrated author and illustrator Sam Williams comes a brand-new board book series for preschoolers about a group of cute, cuddly critters who meet each day for a new adventure. In this first book, it’s time to paint at the Art Barn! A sweet board book series with irresistible art, this book is perfect for preschoolers looking to see their own first experiences mirrored with these new friends.

  2. The Highland Falcon Thief - In The Highland Falcon Thief: Adventures on Trains #1, a middle-grade series starter from MG Leonard and Sam Sedgman, a young boy is swept up in an investigation to uncover the perpetrator of a jewel theft. When eleven-year-old Harrison Hal Beck is forced to accompany his travel-writer uncle on the last journey of a royal train, he expects a boring trip spent away from video games and children his age. But then Hal spots a girl who should not be on board, and he quickly makes friends with the stowaway, Lenny. Things get even more interesting when the royal prince and princess board for the last leg of the journey--because the princess's diamond necklace is soon stolen and replaced with a fake! Suspicion falls on the one person who isn't supposed to be there: Lenny. It's up to Hal, his keen observation, and his skill as a budding sketch artist to uncover the real jewel thief, clear his friend's name, and return the diamond necklace before The Highland Falcon makes its last stop.

  3. Moose, Goose, and Mouse - Giggles guaranteed! Moose, Goose, and Mouse ride a loose caboose on their way to finding a new house! This funny book by a Caldecott winning author-illustrator promotes foundational reading skills!

  4. Molly and Mae: A Friendship Journey - When Molly and Mae meet at the train station, two journeys begin: a trip through the countryside and an expedition through the highs and lows of friendship. At first the way is scenic and smooth–and then something goes off track. Can Molly and Mae build a bridge of kindness back to each other? Capturing the playfulness, laughter, disagreements, and reconciliations familiar to all relationships, <i>Molly and Mae </i>is a loving portrayal of friendship in its sweetest form.

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Books About Trains and First Concepts

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All Aboard! Pacific Northwest
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Every part of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. In the latest title of this popular board book series, babies and parents climb aboard to explore the Pacific Northwest and its fun activities, from shopping, to hiking, to skiing, and more! Ride along from Oregon to Washington to British Columbia to discover cities like Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle and sights like Mt. Rainier and Haystack Rock. All aboard for a sensational experience in travel! Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

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Two Little Trains
Written by Margaret Wise Brown & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Skillfully designed and composed, Pizzoli’s cheerful interpretation is thoroughly modern and charming. Swoonworthy for train lovers and preschoolers alike.” ―Kirkus (starred review)

The classic picture book from Margaret Wise Brown about two trains and their cross-country journey from east to west, with a bold new look from Geisel Award–winning artist Greg Pizzoli.

Two little trains went down the track,

Two little trains went West.

PUFF PUFF PUFF

CHUG CHUG CHUG

Two little trains to the West.

A streamlined train and a little old train journey through hills and over mountains, crossing rivers and plains, in this treasured story from Margaret Wise Brown, author of Goodnight Moon. Reimagined with bold and vibrant art by Geisel Award–winning artist Greg Pizzoli, this updated edition is perfect for fans of things that go.

Makes for a great baby shower gift!

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Two Little Trains
Written by Margaret Wise Brown & illustrated by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two little trains, one streamlined, the other old-fashioned, puff, puff, puff, and chug, chug, chug, on their way West.

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  1. Steam Train, Dream Train Colors - All aboard for a rainbow of train cars and their lively animal crew! Vivid colors and cozy rhyming text inspired by the bestselling <em>Steam Train, Dream Train</em> will make learning colors a rich experience for the smallest readers.

  2. I'm Taking a Trip on My Train - Shirley Neitzel and Nancy Winslow Parker are back with what may just be their best picture-book rebus yet. After all, who can resist a ride on a train? And with words like locomotive, boxcar, tanker, tunnel, trestle, and caboose, the cumulative story invites imaginative play while building vocabulary and basic reading skills. Pure fun for young engineers.

  3. All Aboard! - Folding out car by car, this accordion-style book takes readers on a tour of what’s inside a train. Each car has something to find—things that make loud noises, things in different shapes—and along the way, a little child searches for his missing hat. The back of the book is a running landscape dotted with objects for children to find and count. All Aboard! Let’s Ride a Train is a fun, interactive ride from beginning to end.

  4. Night Train, Night Train - Told in rhyming text, a train speeds through the night, revealing the sights and colors along the way to its young and sleepy riders.

Books About Trains and Travel

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The Train to Impossible Places
Written by P G Bell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.Suzy Smith believes in science. Then the Impossible Postal Express comes roaring through her living room and her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train,and faced with her first delivery—to the evil Lady Crepuscula. Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places.But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice—with the fate of the entire Union at stake

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Underground: Subway Systems Around the World: Us Edition
Written & illustrated by Uijung Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

This is a playful search-and-find, inside/outside book of underground systems around the world. Alternating shortened pages introduce the subways of 12 different cities. On the first page we see the exterior of the train, and are presented with fascinating facts and figures about the transport system. On the following, shortened page, we find the inside of the train and the platform, bustling with activity. On this busy page, young readers are invited to spot key items that are unique to the city in question; a pretzel, an I - NY t-shirt and a Statue of Liberty headband on the New York Subway, for example. Perfect for train-obsessed children, but also for a wider audience, this book teaches young readers about transport and also about cultural signifiers of different cities around the world. Uijung Kim’s busy, colourful illustrations have a manga-like sensibility that feels joyously contemporary. The cities included are: London, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Beijing, Mexico City, Paris, Madrid and Berlin.

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Night Train
Written by Annie Cronin Romano & illustrated by Ileana Soon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This cinematic book takes readers along on a steam engine’s journey through the night, from a city to a small town. Varied landscapes as well as color shifts show the passage of time from dusk to night to dawn. The rhythmic text is perfect for bedtime reading, and train lovers young and old will appreciate the various railway details incorporated in the text and art. Night train wakens to the dusk, groggy, stretching, load and roll, load and roll. Bringing warmth and wonder to the night, this book will send young readers off to sleep dreaming of the steady train journeying through the night.

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  1. Stanley's Train - It’s another busy day for Stanley and friends! All aboard on Stanley’s train and tickets ready, please. Stanley’s passengers have a beach ball, a toy boat, and an inner tube. Where could Stanley’s train be headed? Off we go on another adventure! Choo, choo! With bright illustrations, adorable characters, and a padded-cover format, William Bee’s Stanley series is perfect for readers transitioning from board books to picture books.

  2. All Aboard The Discovery Express - Welcome on board the Discovery Express! The year is 1937 and a conundrum is afoot: a professor on the verge of a brilliant discovery has disappeared. Can you help to solve the clues on this time-travelling adventure and track down the missing scientist? On your voyage, you’ll travel the world, see some of the most important moments in the history of transportation, meet the most brilliant engineers of all time, and ultimately unveil the design of the world’s first jet engine! ?This interactive lift-flap adventure is sure to spark the imaginations of aspiring scientists and engineers everywhere.

  3. All Aboard! the Airport Train - Hop on board to explore the airport in this accordion-style book with flaps to lift on every page All aboard! This accordion-style book folds out car by car, taking readers on a tour of an airport train–inside and out. Readers are asked to help a girl bound for summer camp find her missing plane ticket, and as they search, they are introduced to all the passengers on the train. There are vacationing penguins, glamorous movie stars, traveling musicians, and other silly surprises sure to delight on every read. When readers flip the book over, they’ll discover a panoramic view of the airport–the control tower, runways, and parking lots–dotted with objects for readers to find and count. A fun, interactive ride from beginning to end!

  4. Around the World in Every Vehicle - Join the Van Go family as they set out in their little blue camper van on a globetrotting adventure. Join them as they take in the sights on a red bus in London, watch them hail a yellow cab in New York and help them navigate the twisty turns of the Paris metro. Around the World in Every Vehicle is an adventure story perfect for little fans of everything that goes ‘vroom’! Follow the Van Gos as they travel in different vehicles throughout their trip and find out how popular modes of transport look in different cities and countries around the world

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Books About Trains and Family

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"Why Is This Night Different from All Other Nights?"
Written by Lemony Snicket & illustrated by Seth
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Before the Baudelaires became orphans, before he encountered A Series of Unfortunate Events, even before the invention of Netflix, Lemony Snicket was a boy discovering the mysteries of the world. Train travel! Murder! Librarians! A Series Finale! On all other nights, the train departs from Stain’d Station and travels to the city without stopping. But not tonight. You might ask, why is this night different from all other nights? But that’s the wrong question. Instead ask, where is this all heading? And what happens at the end of the line? The final book in Lemony Snicket’s bestselling series, All the Wrong Questions. span

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Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
What if timid Baby Lincoln broke free of her bossy sister and set off on an unexpected journey? Kate DiCamillo presents a touching new adventure set in Mercy Watson's world.
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The Boxcar Children
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

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  1. The Uncanny Express (the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters Book 2) - Jaundice and Kale are back from their adventure on the high seas, and they are settling back into a quiet life in Dullsville, just the way they like it. The tea is tepid, the oatmeal is tasteless, and the socks are ripe for darning . . . until Aunt Shallot shows up and reveals herself to be anything but the dull relation they were expecting. Instead, she tells her nieces she is Magique, Queen of Magic, and she’s on her way to a big show and in need of two willing assistants. As Magique and the Bland sisters board the Uncanny Express, they meet a cast of mystifying characters. And when Magique goes missing, it’s up to Jaundice and Kale to solve the mystery–with the help of famous detective Hugo Fromage. An inventive story in the tradition of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express has all the whimsy and humor that readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure will love.

  2. Subway - A father. Two children. And more than 840 miles of track. What does it addup to? Something thrilling. Are you ready for Subway?

  3. Two White Rabbits - In this moving and timely story, a young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the U.S. border. <p/>They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn’t know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey. <p/>As many thousands of people, especially children, in Mexico and Central America continue to make the arduous journey to the U.S. border in search of a better life, this is an important book that shows a young migrant’s perspective.<br>

  4. Lost Property Office - A little girl and her mother are on the train, going to visit Grandpa. It’s very busy–hold on tight! But when they arrive at their destination and get off the train they realize something is wrong: the little girl’s beloved teddy bear has gone missing! Just when it looks like she’ll never see Teddy again, Grandpa has an idea! And suddenly the little girl is off on a magical journey to rescue her favorite stuffed friend. Have you ever wondered where your lost objects go? With charming and stylish illustrations, this book is perfect for curious minds.

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