ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Best Children's Books About Trains - Including Some You've Probably Never Heard Of Before

Updated on November 29, 2015
A small gathering of a subsection of my son's books about trains!
A small gathering of a subsection of my son's books about trains! | Source

When Your Child Loves Trains... Everything Has to Be About Trains!

My sons are huge train fans. My first son was way into trains since he was very young, and for years he had a seemingly insatiable appetite for books about trains. Every time we would go to the library or a bookstore, we spend the whole time searching for new books about trains. My second son is more into the things his older brother is into, and my six year old is now not as into trains (Legos rule now!). But even so, my older and younger son still from time to time love building train tracks and playing together (both Brio and Dinosaur Train tracks, and Brio, Chuggington, Thomas, and Dinosaur Train trains). And it's interesting to see my younger one at times seek trains out on his own. They just seem to be incredibly compelling to young people, especially those under age four.

I figured the expertise I've gained about train books could be shared with others - I am a huge fan of children's books myself, and I like reading books that we will all enjoy - me and my sons.

Some of the books I recommend are more popular, and some I didn't come across until after much searching. One is sadly out of print, but is one of my favorite books from my childhood, and now my son's favorite bedtime book. I hope this list and these short reviews will give some good ideas for other parents of children who love trains, or anyone looking for a great gift for a train loving young person.

The perfect book about trains, and so much more...
The perfect book about trains, and so much more... | Source
My favorite page in There's a Train Going by My Window
My favorite page in There's a Train Going by My Window | Source

My Favorite Train Book: There's a Train Going by My Window

This book was published in 1982 and is now out of print, sadly. I loved this book as a child. It has a beautiful rhythm, beautiful and detailed pictures, and an exciting story of a girl traveling around the world and meeting and playing with various animals, until the train brings her home so she can go to sleep. There is so much I love about this book. One great feature is that the central character is a girl. Most books about trains seem to have boys as the central characters, and as a girl myself, I loved seeing another girl go on the train ride.

The pictures are also so fun and imaginative, I felt like I was transported to another place as a child, and I still do. On one page, she parachutes with the puffins in a sky filled with rainbows. To this day, that page makes me happy. My son has already learned a lot of the words to the book due to the rhythmic quality. He loves it when I stop and let him fill in the last few words. I also think it's a perfect length - long enough, but not too many words on each page, and doesn't go on forever.

In short, I think this is the perfect book in every way.

Other Wonderful Books About Trains for Toddlers

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

I discovered this one at a local play place in Berkeley, and my son always gravitated towards it. The hard cover version and the board book appear to be the same, but I have not gone page by page to confirm. The language is really beautiful and rhythmic - very fun to read. The pictures are also nice and detailed so there's lots to talk about on every page.

The main characters are a toy boy and a toy engineer, and my son loves to pretend that he is the boy riding along with the engineer. It ends with the boy who owns all the toys going to sleep with his train engine and all his toys sleeping around him, so it works nicely as a bedtime book.

Maisy's Train

This is the most simple by far of all these books, but it's a wonderful first book. This was one of the very first books that my son loved to have read to him over and over. It's just a mouse (Maisy) and her friends going on a ride through the countryside, through a tunnel, and back to the station. Along the way they say hello to the various animals they see. It's very simple and colorful. There are also other books about Maisy, so it can be a fun character for your child to get to know. As far as I know, it's only a board book.

Train Stop

This book actually has no words at all, and is set up sort of like a graphic novel (but with only graphics!). A girl rides on the subway with her parents, ends up out in the country, and ends up going on a little adventure to help some small toy people get their friends out of a tree. She then rides home on the train with her parents (who were asleep through her adventure) and they walk to their apartment through the city. At the end, the toy people fly in their little plane and bring her a tree to plant outside her apartment.

It's fun to read this book and make up whatever you want, though it's more challenging when you just want to veg out! I think kids who have ridden on urban train systems will particularly like this book (my son likes that it looks like the BART train in Oakland). It's also nice because it has a central female character.

I've Been Working on the Railroad

This one is fun because it attempts to illustrate the somewhat incomprehensible lyrics of this traditional song! It imagines a boy riding up with the engineer (always a popular theme with my son!), and everyone traveling through the night to Dinah's diner where she blows her horn when it's breakfast time. The pictures aren't particularly beautiful, but they are fun.

The Rain Train

We liked this one as well, but I do think it's for a slightly older audience. The pictures are a little more impressionistic, and the language is a little advanced, even for me. It's very poetic, so children may just like the sounds of the words even if they don't know what they mean. It's about children getting on a train on a rainy night, sleeping on the train, and then coming back home. Really the point of the book is the poetry, not the plot or the pictures.

Freight Train

This one is very simple but kids seem to just love it. Nice bright and clear pictures and colors. Simple language, but it is somehow really captivating. It did win the Caldecott medal, so apparently my son is not the only kid who loves it! They read it at his school and we read it at home and he never seems to tire of it. I think this one would make an especially nice present for a toddler.

Of these train books, which had you already heard of?

See results

Thomas the Train and Friends

This hub includes some discussion of the many books about Thomas the Train and Friends.

And So Many More...

There are so many more books that include pictures of trains, even if they aren't solely focused on trains, but I will keep this somewhat focused and stop here. I also left out the whole category of books about Thomas the Train and Friends, but that could be a whole additional topic.

Please share if you have other favorite train books for toddlers, or comments on any of the above!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • twoseven profile imageAUTHOR

      twoseven 

      6 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin

      Thanks for the comment! I haven't heard of My Big Train Book, but now I will definitely check it out!

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      Great hub. I was going to write one on the topic myself, since my son went through the same stage (he's in kindergarten now, and has finally outgrown trains). We have a beautiful nonfiction book called "My Big Train Book" that my son used to have me read every single night (along with most of these you mentioned and a whole host of others).

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)