My Little Train

My Little Train

by Satomi Ichikawa
     
 

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Little Train toots along, taking all his passengers exactly where they want to go. "To the pond!" says the duck. "To the forest!" says the monkey. "To the mountain!" says the bear. But Little Kangaroo doesn't say a word. He wants to go on an adventure with Little Train-adventure that leads him up a mountain, off a cliff, and back where he belongs: in his mama's

Overview

Little Train toots along, taking all his passengers exactly where they want to go. "To the pond!" says the duck. "To the forest!" says the monkey. "To the mountain!" says the bear. But Little Kangaroo doesn't say a word. He wants to go on an adventure with Little Train-adventure that leads him up a mountain, off a cliff, and back where he belongs: in his mama's pocket.

This endearing picture book is perfect for train, toy and adventure lovers everywhere.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Toys took to the skies in Ichikawa's Come Fly with Me (2008); here, stuffed animals climb aboard a wooden train that emerges from a tunnel fashioned from stacks of picture books. Each announces where it would like to go (" ‘To the pond,' says a duck. Quack, quack. ‘To the field,' says a sheep. Baa, baa"), and Ichikawa's soft watercolors reveal destinations that are ripped from kids' playtime imaginations. The pond is a fishbowl, a bear's "mountain" consists of pillows on a sofa, and a lamb's "meadow" is a lovely, loose rendition of Monet's Poppy Field in Argenteuil. The sole remaining passenger is a kangaroo that helps rescue the train when it tumbles off a "cliff," before the train returns it safely to its mother's pouch. Ichikawa makes excellent use of varied, skewed perspectives to bring readers into the action, staring down at the train while a monkey swings from a houseplant, or following it into the dark recesses of a pillow tunnel. Repeated animal noises and train sounds encourage readers to lend their voices to this whimsical read-aloud. Ages 3–8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
A youngster's imagination takes his toy train on a trip as it offers his toys rides to wherever they wish to go. The "whoo whoo" of the train is a repeated refrain, along with the quacking of the duck, and the sounds of the sheep, monkey, and bear as they ride along. The duck is dropped at the "pond," a goldfish bowl. The sheep gets off at the field in a painting. The monkey swings away into the "forest," the branches of a large plant. And up the "mountain" of the sofa climbs the train, dropping off the bear. A little kangaroo is left on the train to enjoy a ride. Over a "cliff" they go; then with the kangaroo's help they return to Central Station and Mama Kangaroo. "Come aboard any time," is the train's farewell. Naturalistic watercolor paintings take us for a sightseeing journey around the room of a child's home. Double page scenes display the assorted toys and the cars and engine of the train in close-up adventures. The scene of riding off the "cliff," i.e. the edge of a couch, builds realistic tension that is resolved in the next scene of scattered blocks in collision with the train. This appealing tale supplies a secure but exciting ride for small readers. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—The little train chugs into Central Station and picks up five passengers. Duck wants to go to the pond, Sheep to the field, Monkey to the forest, and Bear to the mountain. Little Kangaroo does not say a word. Off goes the train through the tunnel (a wooden chair), to the pond (a fish bowl), to the field (a painting of a poppy field), to the forest (a large potted plant), and to the mountain (the back of a sofa). With four passengers gone, Little Kangaroo says, "Bravo, Train." Loving adventure, he has come along for the ride. The little train goes across the mountain (the sofa pillows) until it comes to a cliff (the edge of the sofa) and falls. Out hops Little Kangaroo, putting one car after another upright, and back they go to Central Station and the safety of his mama's pocket. The simple, rhythmic text sounds like a train on the tracks, huffing, puffing, and chugging its way around a comfortable living room strewn with toys and books. The realistic watercolor illustrations are done in soft hues and make good use of the white space in each spread. This gentle adventure with its reassuring ending is reminiscent of Margaret Wise Brown's Two Little Trains (HarperCollins, 2001). Young listeners will ask for it over and over again.—Mary Jean Smith, Southside Elementary School, Lebanon, TN
Kirkus Reviews

A seemingly self-propelled toy train narrates this sweetly invigorating tale while chauffeuring similarly mobile animals to their chosen destinations. At the first stop, the fishbowl "pond," Duck dives in; the field that Sheep leaps into is in an Impressionist painting propped against a wall. After Bear is dropped off on the "mountaintop" (in a moment ever-so-gently reminiscent of The Little Engine That Could without a touch of that title's mawkish sentimentality), a heap of couch pillows presents navigational challenges, and a baby kangaroo who's stowed away for the ride proves strong and helpful in righting tumbled cars. Ichikawa's simple, repetitious text should attract lapsitters, storytimers and beginning readers. Her soft-hued, full-bleed watercolors shift perspective often in a household full of books, toys and tacked-up children's drawings. The absence of human characters permits child readers to fully engage in the story's pretend play, as a new group of toy passengers queues up at "Central Station." Gently winning. (Picture book. 2-5)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399254536
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
11/11/2010
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
757,317
Product dimensions:
8.30(w) x 11.10(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
3 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Satomi Ichikawa, creator of the Nora books, lives in Paris, France.
Satomi Ichikawa, creator of the Nora books, lives in Paris, France.

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