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Choo Choo Paperback – April 25, 1988


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Trying to be good is often defeated by curiosity. Just ask George. Kids ages 3 - 5 love the original classic Curious George as well as all the subsequent tales of monkeyshines.
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Choo Choo + Maybelle the Cable Car + Katy and the Big Snow (Vol 2)
Price for all three: $20.89

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 530L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (April 25, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395479428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395479421
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Told in rhythmic prose, with many sound effects. Illustrated with amusing, vigorous drawings in black and white." Wilson Children's Catalog

About the Author

Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was the talented author and illustrator of some of the most enduring books ever written for children. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for THE LITTLE HOUSE, Burton's books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia. She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans. She is the author of many classic children's picture books, including MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL and KATY AND THE BIG SNOW.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
37
4 star
8
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See all 47 customer reviews
My 3 year old son adores this book and so do we.
Amazon Customer
A great and undermentioned classic with lovely charcoal drawings by a wonderful children's author.
Frank Comments
I read many other books, but the one I would come back to get over and over again was this one.
Justin Felder

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 49 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 14, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Another masterpiece by Virginia Lee Burton, equal to her other books, The Little House, Katy and the Big Snow or Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. The story of a rebellious little engine that isn't content and wants to show off, runs away and ultimately learns an important lesson. Does this sound like anyone you know? The author skillfully and carefully weaves a story that incorporates many topics of interest and importance to small children, such as travel, time, distance, trouble, responsibility, duty, etc., within the context of a story about a train. The illustrations are masterful and were prepared by the author herself. As with her other books, she is writing to her own small children, which adds to the richness, depth, sensitivity and focus of the story. The book were prepared during the 1940s, during what was undoubtedly a simpler and more straighforward era of traditional values which I believe in and want to teach my children. The beauty of the story is that is it simple, yet deep and complicated at the same time. There are many opportunities for discussion with your children. As you can tell, I highly recommend this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Mcconnell on June 8, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Great book and illustrations. My son and I love reading Choo Choo, Mike Muligan, and The Old House. He wants them read over and over and he's only two. They'll be great books later on when he begins to read.
You can't find these in bookstores! They're the best.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By D. Wheel on December 22, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I kept coming back to this book, debating on whether or not my 3 year old would be interested in the book given it's length. Well, apparently that was not a concern since this is one of his favorite stories. Although I find it to be a little long, he enjoys the pictures and the storyline. He always finds something to question and that is what I find to be most important in a book-does it inspire him to think? This one does.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This was one of my son's favorite books...and now I'm buying it for my grandchildren. Besides the hope that they will enjoy it as much, and that he will enjoy sharing it with them...there is a certain delight in wondering how many thousands of times he will have to read it...and does he still have it memorized! A great story with excellent use of language.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This is a fast paced yet simple story about a train that ran away. Both of my sons have loved this book and know it by heart. I definately recommend this book for any small child. They will want to hear it over and over.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shanna A. Gonzalez on August 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Virginia Lee Burton, who brought us Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (With CD), brings us a cautionary tale about a little engine who runs away from her job of pulling coaches. Instead, she escapes and sets off on a solo spree across the country, stopping only when she loses her tender and runs out of fuel and water on an abandoned track. Her owners retrieve her from her exhausted solitude, and she decides that since running away "isn't much fun," she will return to her job.

The story is exceptionally well written, with a dramatic pacing that builds to an exciting climax as Choo Choo tears across the countryside. Highly auditory pre-readers will especially enjoy the repetition and sound effects that punctuate the story, giving it a rhythm and sense of excitement. Those who are more visually oriented may be less attracted to it: it is illustrated in old-fashioned black-and-white charcoal, and while some readers may be unimpressed by the lack of "flash" in the artwork, others may be troubled by Choo-Choo's darkly sinister resting place in the woods. Still, even without color, the pictures are full of movement and life. The story is action-packed, and carries the simple message that those who try to escape their responsibilities may find that their "freedom" isn't all they imagined it to be.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Justin Felder on October 23, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I remember very few things about elementary school, but one of the things I do remember is my class taking a weekly trip to the library. Each student was allowed to check out a book and had to return it on the next visit. I read many other books, but the one I would come back to get over and over again was this one. I loved it and after some thinking back, I remembered why. One of the greatest children's books of all time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By raboof on August 18, 2008
Format: Paperback
I found this book in a public library in Japan and borrowed it to read to my 3 year old son. He has a strong interest in trains, so I thought this could be a good break from the daily grind of Thomas the Tank Engine stories.

The story is about a steam engine named Choo Choo who hauls passengers, mail, and baggage to and fro. She has a dream to be free from her monotonous life and to be admired for her speed and grace. She finally gets the chance to run without a load and ends up running out of control. Her patient engineer and conductor find her and bring her home safely. She learns a lesson and doesn't wish to run off alone anymore.

The story bears a striking resemblance to Stop, Train, Stop! a Thomas the Tank Engine Story (Beginner Books(R)). That is another story where a train decides to run away as fast as it can in order to impress onlookers. I can't help but think that the Thomas version is based almost wholly on the Burton story of Choo Choo.

The charcoal art is amazing. Each page is illustrated with a smoky charcoal sketching that makes the old-timey-ness of the story come to life. The greasy, dirty, smoky world of steam locomotives becomes a real-live place to readers of this book.

The quaint "Once upon a time" beginning was a little strange, but soon forgotten. However the layout of the text itself was something I could never get over. The shrinking of each line of text into a cone, or the lines shaped in waves made reading aloud difficult. It is easy to read ahead, but much of that skill also relies on visual cues from the text itself. I found myself tripping over certain phrases due to the unorthodox text.
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More About the Author

Virginia Lee Burton was the talented author and illustrator of some of the most enduring books ever written for children. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for The Little House, Burton's books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia. She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans.

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