April 17, 2015 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog
Freight Train by Donald Crews. Originally published in 1978 by Greenwillow Books — still in-print. Age range 0 – 2 years. Board book with 24 full-color pages.
I really don’t know when or how kids become enamored with trains. Trains are from DAYS OF YORE and are not commonplace. Not having kiddos myself, I do wonder if parents take their own kiddos on some kind of pilgrimage (or rite of passage) for their first glimpse (or even ride!!!) on a train — perhaps at a fair, festival, or national park. But I also wonder if maybe the first time kids see a train is inside the pages of a book and that is where they learn that the sound of a train goes “chugga chugga chugga chugga choo choo”?! (As a side note, these words do not appear in the text for Freight Train.)
There are so many children’s board and picture books starring trains. Do you really need another one? Yes, yes you do. It’s often these (seemingly) simple board books that are quite mighty and special. The are enjoyable to read and you think about after you’ve closed the book. This is a most special book about trains (of course) but also about color and movement. Readers are introduced to the various parts of the train, identified by color and name. Then the train moves and travels! The train travels through tunnels and cities — just to give a couple of examples.
As a sweet side note, the 1978 stenciled on one of the train cars refers to the year the book was published. And the initials N & A, appearing on another car, are for Crew’s children, Nanette and Amy. (The source for this sweet side note is from page 8 in 100 Best Books for Children — review here).