Automotive Deals HPCC Amazon Fashion Learn more Discover it Crown the Empire Fire TV Stick Happy Belly Coffee Handmade school supplies Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection TarantinoCollection  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro

Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$6.95+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on December 14, 1998
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.
11 comment| 52 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 8, 1999
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.
0Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 3, 2015
Like other reviewers, my son loves this book and learned it by heart. We love the artistic style, and my son has given particular attention, over and over, to the lovingly drawn portrait of (what I presume to be) the author's son playing with trains at the front of the book. The language used in the story is a bit dated, but that's OK.

I suppose what grates on me, after dozens of readings of this book, is the core lesson that it is better to keep your head down and do your assigned job rather than pursue your dreams. This lesson is reinforced at the end of the book, when Choo Choo happily announces that [SPOILERS follow] she will never run away again and will go back to hauling passengers and mail like she is supposed to. If you look at the entire story arc, Choo Choo vainly dreams of seeing the big city and becoming famous, and runs away to pursue this dream. She runs into trouble when she is overwhelmed by the bigness of the city, then gets lost in the wilderness and literally runs out of steam, where she sits forlorn and is only rescued by the engineer and helpers that she ran away from in the beginning. In other words, in the course of the book Choo Choo did not solve a single problem or overcome any obstacles. She tried to achieve something, failed, was "saved" by her operators, and happily agreed that it would be better to never have tried in the first place.

Maybe I'm reading too much into it. It's a short kids' story, and whatever you think of it, this can easily be a teachable moment with your kids one way or the other. It's a quaint reflection of an earlier time when duty and obedience were frequently thought to be one and the same.

But this lesson, reinforced over dozens of readings, continues to give me pause, and I just wanted to flag this for other parents. I've still given it a 5 star rating because, at the end of the day, it's a fun book about trains, with wonderful illustrations, that continues to bring my son joy.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 22, 2006
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.
0Comment| 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 31, 2001
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.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 23, 2001
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.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on August 1, 2010
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.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 29, 2016
The runaway engine is female and gets punished for wanting to see the world and have an adventure. Back to the daily grind for us women!

This is the kind of message I got from children's books growing up in the 1940s. Not good. I bought the book for my grandchildren, but I'm not going to give it to them.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 16, 2013
Had this book at a kid. The art is fantastic. The author is a great storyteller of this lost litle engine who takes off without its engineer, firemen and conductor,and along the way, it looses its tender in the river and winds up lost in the woods. Virginia Lee Burton authored other books of this type such as Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, Katy and the Big Snow, The Little House, etc...
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 12, 2013
After two granddaughters, it is a new experience to find things for a two year old boy. This book has all the right stuff--trains and a text he can understand. The "look inside" feature is helpful since there are few brick and mortar bookstores where one can browse through selctions to find a good choice.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items

$7.60

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.