Customer Reviews

24
4.8 out of 5 stars
Steam, Smoke, and Steel
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$7.15 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


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

40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2004
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
When my son found this book at the local library, I couldn't wait to write a gushing review. I am really delighted with this book. The more we read it together, the more impressed I am with the author and illustrator.

This book is organized so that you go back in time, viewing the trains of earlier and earlier generations. (This is much more interesting than it sounds. Stay with me!) The narrator is a boy who says that when he goes up, he wants to drive a train like his dad. Then we hear about how his dad also wanted to be an engineer because that is what HIS father was, and so forth. We are brought back in time all the way to the earliest American trains (and the boy's great great great great great grandfather--kids love the repetition too). The final scene is a futuristic train that the boy imagines driving when he grows up.

Every other page spread on the book contains short text about a child wanting to drive trains like his father (or mother in one case!) and a gorgeous illustration of a train. If you look carefully, you'll see that every scene is shown from the exact same vantage point, with the same mountains in the background. Not only do the trains change, but so do the stations, the tracks, and the buildings around them. The illustration style is lush, and every one of these images features a different cat somewhere in the scene. My son loves to search for them.

The alternating page spreads contain extended text and additional images about the era of train history depicted on the previous page. I have read many, many books on trains because my son gobbles up anything we can find on them, and yet I learned many new things from this book. For instance, did you know that when multiple engines are used to pull a train, they are called a "consist"? Or that brakemen on old trains had to run along the tops of the cars to set the brakes on each one manually? The level of detail is not a whole lot greater than most other non-fiction train books for kids, but it seems to find the most unique and telling details.

I would recommend this book for any train child ages 3 and up. You won't mind reading this one over and over. For younger children, just read the text on alternating pages and the captions of the pictures on the more detailed sections.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
I checked this book out at the library, and now have to purchase it for a nephew who loves trains. It is a great book that details the history of trains, but adds in a story (a family with many generations working on the trains) to keep the interest of children. Beautiful illustrations with a cat on every page my kids had to find.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
My little newphew loves, loves trains. At this time this is his favorite train book. We read only every other page. The other pages are to long, but he loves it. And I like the theme of the story.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on May 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This a great story of the history of trains as seen through the eyes of a family of engineers. Well written and the artwork is fantastic. A recommended read.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 12, 2011
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
My 3-year-old son, like most boys his age, loves trains. I got this book hoping to give him a bit more historical perspective than all of his Thomas stuff. This book is great, because it's easy to read a simplified version for the preschool set, though it includes a lot more detailed information about different trains from different times for interested older kids and adults. The illustrations are beautiful paintings of all sorts of trains, which my son and I both appreciate.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I bought this book (the hardcover version) for my 4-year-old grandson who is infatuated by trains. He's been reading since age three and he loves the illustrations as well as the stories as told by a young boy. The illustrations are charming and realistic, the history is fascinating. A great book for young people, pre-school to grade three.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2012
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I purchased this for a 5-year old boy. Was disappointed. Had I been able to see at least every other page, I would not have purchased it. The first set of pages provide a lovely picture of a train with 2 people alongside. The second set of pages provide A LOT of text. This pattern is repeated throughout the book. I don't mind reading my son detailed books, but I found it to be quite boring for him. I think that an 8-year old kid would really appreciate it.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a beautiful book. My 3 y.o. train crazy son LOVES it. My 8 y.o. daughter, not such a train lover, really ejoyed it too. She keeps wanting to get in on my son's bed at story time to hear it over and over. I have even learned a few things. Beautiful illustrations. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a train or history lover.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
My daughter loves trains, so I bought this lovely picture book for her. She has me read it to her all the time! It has lots of interesting stuff about trains and the history of locomotives without being overly wordy. I think she especially likes that the greatgrandmother of the narrator was an engineer in the 30's.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2010
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
So, I have train lovers and bought this to give them some history on trains. It is a little wordy for my young ones (4 & 2) but the illustrations are beautiful and the book is very educational about how trains work and how they've developed over the years. I think they will continue to enjoy it as they get older.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed
All Aboard Trains (Reading Railroad)
All Aboard Trains (Reading Railroad) by Mary Harding (Paperback - March 15, 1989)
$3.99

Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book)
Locomotive (Caldecott Medal Book) by Brian Floca (Hardcover - September 3, 2013)
$10.14

Big Book Of Trains
Big Book Of Trains by DK Publishing (Hardcover - October 12, 1998)
$10.79
 
     

Send us feedback

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

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.