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How to Train a Train Hardcover – September 24, 2013


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763663077
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763663070
  • Product Dimensions: 11.9 x 10 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #15,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1–From Thomas the Tank Engine to The Little Engine That Could, kids love personified trains, so it's not such a huge chug forward to imagine one as a pet. But how do you select, train, and care for your pet engine? Written as a guidebook for new owners, this amusing title incorporates language usually associated with pet ownership and child rearing. “It's only natural that you'll want to take home all the trains, but don't just grab the first one you see. Take your time and choose one that's right for you.” Juxtaposing sensible tips with the absurdity of a huge pet locomotive creates a text that is at once believable and preposterous. “A warm bath can help calm a nervous train…and few trains can resist a good read-aloud.” But what really makes this concept roar down the track are the entrancing digitally colored illustrations that perfectly capture the expressiveness and playfulness of the pet trains. Whether illustrating the new pet going for a “walk,” performing a trick, or enjoying a playdate with other pet vehicles, the artist has so cleverly incorporated facial features onto the various engines that their distinct personalities shine through, as does the obvious affection children feel for their new pets. Additionally, the large-scale, saturated colors, and comic details of these pictures give young readers a boxcar full to look at and appreciate. From the appealing cover to the final moonlit scene of a boy and his pet steam engine happily chugging down the track, this book is sure to be popular with train and pet lovers alike.–Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Libraryα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* As it turns out, a train is not so very different from a dog—at least in the way you train it. Our young narrator, outfitted in pith helmet and khakis, sets the tone: “So you want a pet train? Well, of course you do!” He begins at the beginning, showing readers how to find trains (“early steam engines pretty much just sit in a museum”); how to capture a train (smoke signals seem to be the best method); and what to name it (a gallery of pictures shows Smokey, Sir Chugsalot, et al.). Once a train gets home, it can be soothed by reading aloud and sent to sleepy town by listening to clickity-clack music. And oh the fun to be had as you teach your new train to fetch or rollover. Eaton’s tongue-in-cheek—and eminently enjoyable—text is matched by Rocco’s smooth and sleek artwork laced with whimsy. A simple sentence like “How does it feel about tunnels and bridges?” results in a cleverly angled spread of a boy pulling his nervous train over a wooden bridge. Despite the human (or is it canine?) sensibility with which the trains are invested, they also seem like real mechanical objects—sturdy, strong, and powerful. Often they’re set against serene skies with blues and golds that could have come from the brush of Maxfield Parrish. This will get kids rolling. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ilene Cooper

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Customer Reviews

The illustrations are beautiful and it is a fun story for all.
Alana L Riches Rubens
One of those books your kids will want to hear every night, and one that you will enjoy reading to them over and over.
Robin Fragner
This is a book you will enjoy reading over and over to your kids - because they will ask for it again and again!
AimeeBD

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By James on November 4, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This guy will make you laugh. You will see, if not in the first sentence, then in the second or the third, that you are outmatched and outgunned. You can resist laughter and instruct your child to do the same but you will fail. It is inevitable. He is ruthless, canny, and will resort to any means to extract from you and your child a sense of silliness and ridiculousness and wonder and, if this news frightens you or if you are trying to set a record for the World's Longest Scowl, then you might be better off reading the latest issue of Accounting Enthusiast or picking through an old copy The Hat People Of North America or even Organizing Your Shelves, Fifth Edition. If, however, the notion of laughter doesn't seem frightening to you, and children in your household are allowed to snort and howl and snort again, then I strongly recommend you flip through these pages and see what happens.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Ricky on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is funny. It is smart. It is touching and heartwarming.
I recommend How To Train a Train to anyone who loves kids, trains, laughter and heart.

Just loved it.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Robin Fragner on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Funny and endearing. One of those books your kids will want to hear every night, and one that you will enjoy reading to them over and over.
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28 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. M. Schroder on November 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Initially I thought this book would be great for our train-loving students. However, page 4 quickly brought an end to that thought. "Now you need to catch one. There are lot of ways to catch a train. Some people will corner it." and the corresponding picture is a little girl in a tutu with a wand STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TRAIN TRACKS IN FRONT OF THE TRAIN! I wish I could show you this picture. In our town, there are train tracks right near a lot of the homes of our students. I do not want my young students thinking it is ok to stand in the middle of the train tracks to catch a train because of a picture book. The next picture shows a boy trying to jump on the top of the train to catch it with a net.

The rest of the book is good. The trains enjoy a bedtime story, yeah promoting reading! The illustrations are beautiful, there is just the right amount of text on the pages, there are even great onomatopoeia words! I just can't get the image of the little girl standing on the train track in front of the train out of my head. No, just no because of that image.

The author writes a letter on the very back page to "Readers and the grown-ups who care about them" saying he "does not suggest that you make a practice of standing in the middle of train tracks." The letter is sort of tongue in cheek and just makes me angrier. You shouldn't make a practice of standing in the middle of train tracks? Umm, again, no, you shouldn't stand in the middle of train tracks when a train is coming AT ALL, EVER!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Cindy Paige on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Love it! I bought a copy for my nephew but the book is such a hit that I just ordered more copies as presents for friends. The writing is great - both funny and smart! And the illustrations are gorgeous!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth Gunnerson on December 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my two 4 year old grandsons. It has great graphics and a cute story. The only disappointment I had was in learning that the "training process" includes having a child (trainer) stand on the tracks in front of a train. I realize this is fiction and pretend but in my opinion this was not a bright thing to include in all the training possibilities.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Davis on September 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
We checked this book out so many times from the library that I bought a copy for my son's third birthday. The whole premise is over-the-top silly, and we just love it. From the catching of a train, to making it comfortable in its new home, to teaching it tricks and how to behave properly, it's a fun read that keeps my little train lover engaged, even after the 100th read-through. I still like it, too, after reading it over and over and over.

I noticed a few reviewers complaining that it shows a kid standing on the tracks in front of a train. The corresponding text says that some people corner them (speaking of catching trains). If you actually look at the photo, you'll see that the child built walls from masonry and the train is backed into the corner. It is not oncoming. The whole thing is just meant to be silly, and even my 3-year-old knows you don't stand on train tracks or build walls around them or try to catch one in reality. Frankly, there's nothing in the book that a child should do in reality with a train, but that's what makes it funny and imaginative to kids.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By K.Leith on September 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Jason Carter Eaton has done it again this time with heart and silliness all concerning your very own train and the training of said train! Your kids will love this, as will you adults!
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