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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon April 23, 2002
Although I am a huge fan of DK books, and my two boys are huge train fans, this book was a big disappointment. Our family owns many train books for children and I am sorry to rate this the poorest of the lot. I feel this is too high of a price for this book.
The title says it is a big book but what that means is the page size is large and the photos are huge. The huge page size makes it hard to hold up to read aloud to, it works best to lie it flat on the floor or the bed and sit beside it to read it aloud. Many of these photos are published in other/better DK or Eyewitness published books on the subject of trains and railroads (see below) so if you own those books already then this one will be a repeat. (Also note that the DK board book on trains has some of these same exact photos in it.) Many times the photos are gigantic, covering one entire page-and they are ineffective. For example, why would we want to see this huge ½ of the front of a diesel engine? I'd prefer to use the large size of the book and/or the fold out pages to show the full length of the engine (rather than parts of one car) and to show the tender (if applicable) or perhaps use the long page length to show a full train of many cars that are all coupled up to each other.
There is not a lot of text to go with the photo spreads, the font size is rather large. In other words, there is not a lot of text to go with the photos; there are simply large font words with gigantic and large photos. Also note that this book is 32 pages long, so this is not a big book in the sense of containing many pages. Some of the pages fold out for really long and large pages but since these are regular paper stock, our copy quickly was bent and a mess. I feel that any children's book with fold out pages, for the age range of 4-8 should be constructed of heavier stock paper so it will last longer.
I highly recommend meatier books rather than this one, such as DKs "See and Explore Trains and Railways" and "Eyewitness: Train". "Eyewitness Train"... is 64 pages long, has more illustrations and more text. It is a bargain to get so much more in a book that is only a [little] more than DK's Big Book of Trains. Although the publisher states this is for ages 8-12, my two-year old son loves this book and I can partially read aloud from the pages until he wants to turn to another page. I find these books for older children are definitely enjoyed by the younger children. Not only do they contain more text but they contain more images. I also enjoy these more comprehensive books as I can read them myself to learn about the trains and I am prepared to answer the many different questions that my children ask me to answer. It is nice to have these more comprehensive books that are not "dumbed down" and that the children can grow into.
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VINE VOICEon December 20, 1999
This is the first fact-filled non-fiction book my 5 year old ever listened to EVERY word of, including all the many captions! He learned a great deal from our many readings. The pictures are wonderful, and the information given interesting enough that a non-train lover (me) could stand to read it quite a few times. My son loves to amaze people by telling them about the train of the future with no wheels, which he learned about here!
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on September 21, 1998
The "Big Book of Trains" introduces us to 50 of the world's most captivating trains.
From the super-heavy steam locomotives of the early 1800s to the futuristic Maglev ("magnetic levitation," which can move a train as fast as 341 miles per hour), this sterling and oversized volume has them all.
The color photos are large and crisp, and the captions are both informative and dramatic.
Interior shots of, say, the new Italian ETR 500 (which speeds to 190 mph) or one of Japan's renowned Bullet Trains would have been welcomed. (Nearly all of the volume's photos are exteriors.)
Still, this introductory train book is not to be missed.
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on February 20, 2006
I bought this book for my three-year old grandson who had borrowed it from the library. He loves the book! He loves trains and he pours over each page and remembers the details very well. We are very pleased.
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on January 8, 2009
We have had this book for several years and 3 boys have really enjoyed the book. Each child began wanting to look at the book while they were 2 years old. It isn't a story book, but there is lots of great information and the pictures are great. It includes the very earliest trains and some of the newer trains. The book is from the National Railway Museum in York, England. Trains from many parts of the world are included.

Any child who likes trains will enjoy this book and the adult will too.
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on January 4, 2014
Don't understand the overly critical review by "thinking mom." It's called the "Big Book of Trains;" the title is not deceptive. I saw this book at Amazon and thought it would be great for my 5-year old, who is always fascinated, studying the different types of trains on a poster at a local restaurant. I was right. If you and your child are not prospective members of MENSA or doing a dissertation on the history of trains for your PhD, then this book is a good value. It has good basic information about a number of different trains from their inception to the present, and has some nice large photos that my son likes to look at and learn about on an almost nightly basis. He says he likes the monorails, bullet trains, mountain trains, high-speed passenger trains, channel tunnel trains, snow trains and freight trains the best--he says). The large photos help keep a child's attention while they learn. The only criticism I would have is that it seems overly focused on European trains and only a little about American trains. Still, it's information we did not know before buying the book. Enjoy.
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on September 28, 2010
My 4 year old son is obsessed with trains. We got this at the library and he read it again and again, so I bought it. We don't read the whole page since it has a lot of information, just talk about the pictures. I tell him something different each time we read it and we both enjoy learning so much about trains.
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on September 11, 2011
This has a lot of great information and even better pictures. My son adores all things train and this book does not disappoint. The ONLY thing that I don't like about it is the fold out section in the middle. The book and therefore the pages are bigger than most books and my son can't close the book without bending the fold out section.
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on May 12, 2007
My son loves this book. His friend loved it so much, I also bought it for his birthday. It's a winner for any train lover.
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on July 5, 2008
This is a great book for kids who love trains! My younger four year old sons love reading it with me and my older six year old son likes looking through it independently. The pictures (photos) are interesting and there is great information all through the pages.
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