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Down by the Station Paperback – October 1, 2002


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Down by the Station + I've Been Working on the Railroad (Traditional Songs)
Price for both: $13.45

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Paperback: 40 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152167900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152167905
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 11 x 0.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,651 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Down by the station, early in the morning," before any visitors arrive, who exactly is riding that zoo train? Hop aboard and find out! See the elephant calf waving good-bye to Mommy and Daddy. And there's a pink flamingo chick, ready to ride. Who's this sleepy black-and-white cub? Still wrapped in a blanket, the panda isn't quite awake yet. The train chugs merrily along, picking up baby animal passengers. But beware! There's danger in the pond beside the tracks. Will the seal pup and baby penguin escape from the circling crocodiles?

Will Hillenbrand, illustrator of Counting Crocodiles and The House That Drac Built, has always been curious about what goes on in a zoo before opening hours. Adapting a traditional children's song, Hillenbrand depicts his charming vision, and presents a parallel journey of a school bus approaching the zoo while the train is making its rounds. Children, as diverse as the chicks and cubs and kits, bound out of the bus to seesaw with the elephant and play kickball with the seal. And the napping panda? He's found his match in a blanket-toting boy. "Puff, puff, toot, toot, off we go!" Basic song notation is included in the back for budding musicians. (Ages 4 to 8) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

"This whimsical interpretation of a familiar song offers preschoolers a ticket to ride on an enjoyable excursion through a children's zoo," PW wrote. Each new animal passenger adds to the cumulative refrain, "building up a symphonic chorus that begs for audience participation." Ages 3-7. (Oct.)
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Will Hillenbrand has illustrated many beloved picture books, including "Kiss the Cow by Phyllis Root"; "Smash! Mash! Crash! There Goes the Trash!" by Barbara Odanka; and "What a Treasure!" by Jane Hillenbrand. He also wrote and illustrated another Christmas story, "Asleep in the Stable". Will enjoys visiting classrooms to talk about the creative process involved in making a picture book. He lives with his wife, Jane, and their son, Ian, in Terrace Park, Ohio.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 22 customer reviews
My 3 year old loves this book.
J. Olszewski
Their Kindermusik teacher has been reading this book to them recently.
M. Zurovski
She can "read" her first words, "Danger, Uh-Oh and Phew!"
K. McMillan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is by far my 2 year old son's favorite book and he has lots of them. Whenever it's time to read to him he says "toot toot" and I know that means he wants to have this book read to him, sometimes several times in a row. The illustrations are wonderful, and there is all sorts of stuff going on if you look closely. An all around great, fun book, I highly recommend this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is based on the song "Down by the Station" that I remember singing as a child. The words are fun (with words like "puff, puff, toot, toot, thrump, thrump") and tell of a train picking up all sorts of animal passengers. The illustrations are fun, showing what appear to be Mom and Dad animals sending their children on the train to the zoo.
I would recommend this for children ages 2-5, especially. They will like the repetitive text and the fun noises of the train, as well as the colorful illustrations.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 11, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My 3 year old is crazy about this book! The story (tune) is easy for him to sing along with, and the pictures are adorable. They really tell the story. There is so much detail to the pictures that we can spend lots of time on each page - "do you see where the balloon went this time?" "what is the elephant doing now?". I also absolutely love it that there are very diverse children in the book - even a little girl in a wheelchair. This is now one of my regular "gift" books for all new babies, too.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 28, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My 2 1/2 year old LOVES this book...and so do I! It is so great to curl up with this book and spend some time singing the song (complete with wonderful animal noises) while looking at the cheery illustrations. The loving animal families as well as the children of all colors, shapes and sizes (even one in a wheel chair) lead to fun discussions as we read. My five year old loves it too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By PeaTee TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Did you ever wonder who rides the train early in the morning, before the zoo opens?" [from flyleaf]

Well the answer is a variety of fun baby animals who carry on in the silliest way. And this nice little book captures it all. With warm, colorful art and a catchy rhyme, it can't help but draw in young children by showing them how every day the train comes and picks up all the baby animals to get them into place before the kids arrive at the zoo.

[Someone mentioned in a previous review that this made them sad. That it seemed as if the babies were being taken from their parents. We think they misunderstood however, because it seems pretty clear to us (LOL) that the train is merely going around the zoo grounds in the morning, picking up the animal babies just like the school bus pick ups human children in the morning returning them home in the evening. ]

The first on the little train is the lady zookeeper with her pet monkey and bird (we are pretty sure it's a penguin). After that the train proceeds to pickup a variety of baby animals: elephant, flamingo, panda, tiger, seal, and kangaroo.

And all the time that the zoo train is picking up the animal babies, a school bus is bringing human babies to the zoo. In fact, the last pages show the children and the animals playing together. The zookeeper and the teacher are holding a jump rope while a girl and a joey are jumping.

Four Stars. Great fun. I like that they label each animal baby appropriately as cub, pup, or joey, etc. There is lots for parents and children to look at, and it is a good opportunity to use the repetitive text for a little memory practice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 2 year old daughter starting singing the words to the book after hearing it just a few times. The entire book can be sung (music on the last page) and has a very catchy, easy to follow tune that toddlers will love! The illustrations are beautiful and there is so much to point out on each page. On each page a different set of "mom & dad" animals drop off their "baby animal" to board the train to eventually go to a children's zoo. The book refers to the baby by the scientific name (baby elephant = calf) etc, which was a nice science lesson for my daughter to learn since she already knew the animal names and sounds, which are also shown. There is a red balloon on each page they can search for, and each page shows a prelude to where the train is going next that can help your child anticipate the next animals being picked up. Every time we read the book, we seem to find a new small detail in the illustrations that we can talk about. This book will be a favorite for years!
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By bailey417 on December 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a huge hit!! The little boy I watch loves this song and knows it word for word so he was super excited to "read" to me!
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By Naomi Rice on May 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Our grandson loves this book. There is so much to see on the pages.Singing the song is an added bonus.
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