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Trainstop Hardcover – April 7, 2008

9 customer reviews

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Trainstop + Rainstorm + The Red Book (Caldecott Honor Book)
Price for all three: $43.04

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2—In this wordless picture book, illustrations done in watercolor, gouache, and ink present the fanciful story of a child's train trip. A girl and her parents board a subway that travels aboveground through a cityscape and then plunges into a tunnel. When the train again emerges into the light, the window suddenly reveals a view of a green countryside with houses and a windmill in the distance. A man wearing striped pants and holding a straw hat brings the train to a halt with a long, bannerlike flag. The child disembarks and is welcomed by a group of miniature people. They lead her to a tree where a plane and its presumed pilot are entangled. With help from a little person, the youngster rescues both the plane and pilot. Waving good-bye, she returns to the train and eventually disembarks with her parents at their urban home. The pilot and a friend fly to her building, giving the girl a gift to commemorate her adventure. The plot of the narrative illustrations is easy to follow. The artwork varies in size from six panels per page to full spreads. The characters' facial features are kept to a minimum, but the placement of dot eyes, dot noses, and line mouths clearly presents their emotions. Lehman's simple fantasy offers a positive lesson on helping others that will stretch readers' imaginations.—Lynn K. Vanca, Akron-Summit County Public Library, Richfield, OH
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From Booklist

As in previous picture books, including the Caldecott Honor Book The Red Book (2004), Lehman’s spare, inviting artwork tells a wordless story about a child’s daydream. Panels in shifting sizes show a little girl boarding a train with her parents and gazing out the windows at a gray city. After the train enters a tunnel, and the windows darken, the girl’s imagination fills in the view. Suddenly, a summer meadow appears, the train makes a stop, and the girl disembarks into a crowd of Lilliputian folk, who lead her to a pint-size aviator lodged, along with his glider, in a small tree. The girl rescues the tiny fellow and returns to the train, leaving the green world behind. Back in the city, she follows her parents home, but a surprise visit from her miniature friends continues her whimsical dream. Once again, Lehman’s spacious, boldly outlined pictures tell a deceptively simple story that demands repeated visits as it seemlessly captures a child’s joyful wandering between reality and imagined play. Preschool-Grade 2. --Gillian Engberg

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 7, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061875640X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618756407
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #344,406 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Lehman has illustrated many books for children. Born in Chicago, Barbara attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she earned a BFA in communication design. A full-time illustrator, Barbara says, "Books and art have always held the strongest attraction for me. I have always felt drawn to commercial art' because of its ability to reach many people. I like the idea of being part of the media in a meaningful and thoughtful way, especially with children as the audience." She now lives in Philmont, New York.

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By delzey on March 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover
On a train trip between cityscapes young girls watches as her view in a black tunnel is replaced by a vibrant countryside. When the train is flagged down mysteriously the girl notices she is the only one on the train who isn't asleep. Stepping off the train she finds a group of people gathered around a tree where a person and their plane have become lodged. What isn't apparent until she reaches the tree is that the people are all tiny, as if the remained frozen the height they were from her train window perspective. While the people are as real as the girl, the plane in the tree is one of those balsa wood planes with a rubber band powering the propeller. Once she has rescued the tiny pilot she returns to the train and resumes her ride home, out the of the fantasy and out of the tunnel, back to the city where she lives.

Out in front of her townhouse, standing in her stone yard, she looks up and sees the rescued pilot and a co-pilot flying toward her. They come with a gift of thanks, a small seedling for an apple tree that is planted in the crack in her stone yard. As a parting shot the girl sits on her stoop admiring her now-grown tree while all over the city other trees have begun sprouting up, no doubt from kindred daydreaming souls looking to return nature to the cities.

Lehman set herself an impossible bar with The Red Book a few years back and, unfairly perhaps, everything since has been measured against that amazing snake-eating-its-tale fantasy. If the impression -- mine at least -- was that her subsequent books (Museum Trip, Rainstorm) were increasingly weaker attempts to capture lighting in a bottle, Trainstop manages to stand apart from the others, on its own and with very sturdy legs.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ulyyf on June 8, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The story in this one is a little harder to follow than in some other wordless books. You really do need to pay attention and to think. (This makes it PERFECT for teaching kids to pay attention and think while reading, I'm sure.)

It is, at the heart, a story about helping and about seeing what is really going on. A little girl helps a smaller man get down from a tree, and is rewarded with her own tree in her own yard later. I won't say "If you only get one wordless picture book, make it this one", but this should definitely be on your short list of wordless books to invest in.

Some people object to wordless picture books on principle, because they are unfamiliar with them. This is what I have to say to that:

Wordless picture books are PERFECT for pre-readers. It gives them the ability to read a book - REALLY own the experience instead of just "playing" as they must do when they can't understand the words - on their own. It gives them practice in putting together stories and working out details from context. And it allows them to be the expert at some activity that is usually restricted to adults and older children in their life - reading a book.

By that same token, they are also ideal for early readers. It's non-threatening, and yet it's still a way to practice following a storyline. Reading is more than just mechanically putting together sounds and reciting them, after all. Many people are impressed by a five year old who can say, word-perfect, some complex piece he or she "reads" from a page, but later they find out that the child has no idea what they just read and wasn't thinking of reading as an exercise in gleaning meaning from text, but merely as reciting memorized sounds and letter combinations.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Willy Nilly on April 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Lehman does it again. The illustrations are luminous and the story engaging enough for all ages. My little ones love her books, and my big ones do too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ana AT on April 16, 2015
Format: Hardcover
Trainstop by Barbara Lehman is a wonderful wordless book that offers a whimsical story in simple, beautiful illustrations. My son loves this book, and we borrowed it from the library several times before finally buying our own copy. I highly recommend it, especially to multilingual families and educators of multilingual programs.

As a bilingual parent, I have a hard time finding a book that can be read in both languages. Bilingual books usually do not have a story - the words simply describe the pictures - which becomes dull for the reader and the child. Translations of popular books and fairy tales vary in quality, and tend to favor a translator's regional language as opposed to standard (particularly for Spanish books).

Wordless books like Trainstop provide a great alternative to reading the same story in multiple languages. Relatives and caregivers who don't speak a child's stronger language will enjoy reading Trainstop because they can tell the story in their own language without the awkwardness that often arises when a child prefers a story's original version as opposed to the translation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By EAK on July 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book, very imaginative with no words and beautiful pictures. Each child gets to create the story as they see it. Great message as well, showing how many people do not 'see' what is going on around them.
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