Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Steam Train, Dream Train: Colors

Steam Train, Dream Train: Colors

Sherri Duskey Rinker
Illustrator:  Tom Lichtenheld 
Board Book
For ages 3 to 5
Chronicle Books, 2016   ISBN: 978-1452149158

It is nighttime and the purple engine of the Dream Train is out on the rails, chugging along under a star-filled sky. A bear, sporting a striped hat and red bandana, is at the controls. Right behind the engine is a grey coal tender that is piled high with lumpy pieces of coal. The strange thing is that an elephant is lying on top of the coal and it is fast asleep holding its toy monkey.

Behind the coal tender is an orange well car, which an enterprising lion has turned into a very comfortable sitting place. There is sand on the flat bed of the car, and an umbrella and lounge bed has been placed on the sand. The lion is sitting comfortable on the lounge bed where he reads by the light of the moon. A drink, with a little umbrella sticking out of it, rests beside him.

A pink box car comes next, and for some reason a pair of pink hippos are standing in the open doors of the box car and they are blowing “bubbles as they ride.”

Next there is a tanker car, which a lemur is painting bright blue. The job is made all the easier because the tanker is full of the blue paint, and all the lemur has to do is to dip a bucket into the tanker to refill it.

Considering what we have seen so far, we are not too surprised to see that a polar bear has decided to build a snowman in the white refrigerated reefer car, which is what comes next.

So far we have seen a brown bear, hippos, a lion, a lemur and now a polar bear, but what comes next is sure to raise a few eyebrows.

Young children are going to thoroughly enjoy this Steam Train, Dream Train adventure. As they move back from car to car, along the train from the engine to the caboose, they will encounter all kinds of delightfully peculiar animal-filled situations. Sing-song rhyming verse accompanies each wonderful piece of art.