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The Little Train Hardcover – October 24, 2000

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The Little Train + The Little Fire Engine + The Little Airplane (Lois Lenski Books)
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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Reviewed with Lois Lenski's The Little Fire Engine.

PreS. These two new board books are based on Lenski's picture books with the same titles, originally published in the 1940s. In Fire Engine, Fireman Small drives his little fire engine to a house fire, where he rescues the inhabitants and douses the flames. In Train, Engineer Small drives his little passenger train from Tinytown through the countryside to Union Station. Some lines of the stories and illustrations have been omitted and other minor changes have been made in the these editions, but each book ends with one of the series' familiar tag lines, such as "And that's all about Fireman Small!" The colorful, childlike pictures have definite appeal for the very young. Although the text is a bit long for many babies and toddlers, these colorful board books might still hold the interest of avid train and fire engine enthusiasts. Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Board book edition.

From the Inside Flap

Mr. Small does it all!

In this adventure, Engineer Small drives his little train from Tinytown to the city-and back. Along the way, the little train passes tunnels and stops at stations to pick up cargo and passengers.

Presented in full color for the first time, Lois Lenski's The Little Train will delight a whole new generation of readers as they learn all about the ins and outs of a working train.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Lois Lenski Books
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (October 24, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375810714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375810718
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #384,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By J. Levie on October 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This review covers both the board book (ISBN 037582264X; 32 pp.; c. 2002) and hardcover (ISBN 0375810714; 56 pp.; c. 2000) editions of *The Little Train* by Lois Lenski.

*The Little Train* was originally published in 1940 and hails approximately from the same era as Awdry's "Railway Series" (known to most children today as Thomas the Tank Engine stories). The level of detail in the original picture book will please the most ardent of youthful train fans: from the parts of the steam engine, to the coal hopper and water tower, to the roundhouse and turntable, to the semaphores (signals) and siding, etc. By today's standards, the illustrations may seem old-fashioned, but there is a certain charm to the depiction of the countryside and railway scenes that isn't found in today's train picture books. The story focuses on a steam engine's journey from Tinytown to "the city," led by Engineer Small, Conductor Little, and Fireman Shorty. The text is lengthy and prosy in comparison to today's picture books, and is probably best suited to 4 year-olds and older (or very attentive and train-obsessed 3 year-olds). However, my 25 month-old train freak will happily sit through the story at least once, but that's probably because he's the spawn of two librarians.

The board book is an abridged version of the original hardcover, and is only 32 pages in length (compared to the original 56 pages). About a third of the illustrations are omitted, and others are cropped. The colors are a bit different from the 2000 reissue--for example, the passenger cars are more of a reddish hue (like the 1 train on the NYC subway), rather than orange brown.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on November 18, 2000
Format: Library Binding
I like trains a lot and this book tells about how you run trains, especially steam ones. Engineer Small and Conductor Little are really nice as they take you on a tour of the train and then on a journey. The pictures are fun and neat plus are detailed and name parts of the engine. There are even good safety ideas! I think any little boy or girl would like this book like I do!
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Format: Hardcover
My 4 year-old Thomas and Friends fan likes this little book which features Engineer Small and his black and shiny engine. While the book doesn't have the Thomas-and-Percy-like personalities which so engage small fry, it does have plenty of drawings of trains and a great deal more factual information than the Rev. Awdry series.

For example, I had no idea that trains have anything called a `sand dome'. This is a dome that looks like the steam dome only -according to Wikipedia-it holds sand in case the tracks get icy or slick and the engine can't gain traction. (huh-who knew?) The book also demonstrates how coal and water are added to the tender, and how switches and what-not are dealt with.

Four Stars. An informative book about trains for young children.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Miriam de Levie-Krock on January 9, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Another great Lois Lenski book. (This one and Cowboy Small are our favorites.) My son was 2 when we started reading all the train books we could find. This one and Chugga Chugga Choo Choo (by Lewis and Kirk) are our picks for best toddler train books. Both can be read over and over and over without getting boring, and this one is actually educational, as well as fun.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Donna Robinson on November 30, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It's a board book for toddlers and keeping that in mind, it is a nice book. It has nice sturdy board pages.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arizona Pen on May 14, 2015
Format: Board book Verified Purchase
My son loves this story. But I did not realize when I purchased it that it was the board book version. This version is not the full story. It is an abridged version. I wish I had realized that before purchasing.
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Format: Hardcover
My four-year-old son is a died in the wool Thomas the Train fan. So when we were in the library yesterday, he picked this book out all by himself. We both enjoyed it very much.

For me, the lovely illustrations from the 1940s are what I found fascinating. They remind me of the books by Virginia Lee Burton ("Katy and the Big Snow" and "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel"), who wrote/illustrated during the same time period. They both have a special charm not seen in today's glossy computer graphic-driven children's books.

My son loved the detailed story of Engineer Small and Conductor Little driving the little train from the small town to the big city. He was delighted to hear terms so familiar to him (tender, steam dome, boiler) in a book other than one about Thomas the Train.

We are definitely going to find the rest of Ms. Lenski's books to enjoy!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Little Train (board book version) has been a hit with our son since he was 6 months old. At 11 months, he started referring to any train he saw as, "huff! huff! huff!" thanks to this book. The Lois Lenski illustrations are second to none, and the colorful pictures keep our son engaged. Our son has yet to graduate to the hardcover version (which is apparently longer and more involving), and despite negative comments against the board book version I've read, I have to say that its shorter length is about all our 17 month old has the patience for... plus, he likes to rip paper pages, so the board book version has been perfect so far. This is one of our son's favorite of the "Small/Little" series of board books. Also recommended: "Policeman Small," The Little Fire Engine" and "Cowboy Small."
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