Lately, books about trains seem to be jumping off the shelves to get my attention. Maybe it is because the “Thomas the Tank Engine” crowd is growing up and this year I have a couple of students interested in trains. Of course, it could be that people have been fascinated by trains for over one hundred and fifty years and I have just begun to notice.
How To Train A Train claims to be an instruction manual on how to choose and train your train. Jason Carter Eaton’s imaginative story is well illustrated by John Rocco. Who doesn’t want a pet train? What kind of a train would you like? And how do you catch it? This involves some early morning stakeouts, coal and smoke signals. Then your train needs a name. Several suggestions are offered to get you thinking. What do you do if your train is shy? Or has trouble falling asleep? The answers can be found in the book. Did you know you can teach your train to do tricks? Once you gain your trains trust, you can ride him, but it is best to start in the caboose. Soon you and your pet train can socialize with other children and their pet trains or even pet airplanes. If you follow this plan, your train will be happy!
The humor extends to the author’s note at the end. It is sure to be a favorite with kids who love trains, especially those from 4-8 years old. How To Train A Train is on order at the Sonoma County Library.