Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3

Steam Train, Dream Train 1-2-3

Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrator:  Tom Lichtenheld 
Board Book
For ages 3 to 5
Chronicle Books, 2016   ISBN: 978-1452149141

It is nighttime and the dream train is chugging across the landscape, its headlight lighting the way, its whistle blowing, and its bell ringing. A happy bear drives the engine and he calls out “ALL ABOARD!”

Behind the engine there is a flatbed car, which two giraffes have turned into a bed, complete with a mattress, covers and pillows. They are lying down, facing each other, happily reading books, and they have “all they need.”

On the next flatbed car the scene is not as tranquil. Here three rabbits are hopping around on their bed. They should be sleeping, but it is clear that they much prefer bouncing, and they are doing so so vigorously that “their ears all flop.”

The car that comes after is an autorack. There are four cars on the autorack and two turtles are sitting inside two of the cars, happily pretending that they are in a grand race, which, in their dreams, they win.

In a boxcar behind the autorack five monkeys are being “silly.” They play on a seesaw, and hang from monkey bars and a trapeze. Inside and on top of the boxcar they have a grand time.

In the cars that follow we meet a pair of bears, prairie dogs who are working on a construction site, kangaroos playing basketball, more kangaroos who are flying balloons, and finally two monkeys who are in the caboose.

This delightful book gives children the opportunity to learn their numbers as they listen to wonderful rhymes. They also get to look at amusing artwork that is full of colors and animal characters who are enjoying their nighttime journey in all kinds of ways.