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Puff-Puff, Chugga-Chugga

Puff-Puff, Chugga-Chugga

5.0 3
by Christopher Wormell

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"I have a funny feeling today will be a busy one," the train conductor thinks to himself in the opening of Wormell's (Blue Rabbit and Friends) latest success. And he's right. Hilariously rotund Mrs. Walrus, Mr. Bear and Mrs. Elephant each pour themselves into a car of the train. In town, they virtually clean out the shelves of the fishmonger, baker and greengrocer. Wormell portrays the tiny locomotive as the wooden-toy variety, with open cars in bright colors of red, blue, yellow and pink, linked by tongue-in-groove hitches. The cozy train is overwhelmed by its passengers, precariously balancing their packages. Just when the dwarfed conductor seems to be at the end of his rope, Mrs. Elephant sneezes, hurling the riders and their groceries hither and yon and derailing the train. A distinctly British brand of ingenuity and unflappability in the face of calamity informs the animals' calm response ("It's just a question of leverage," says Mrs. Elephant matter-of-factly to the panicked conductor, as she helps put the train back on its tracks). But even readers on this side of the pond will find the resolution witty. Wormell humorously emphasizes the animals' amazing girth in contrast to the toy train's diminutive size, while simultaneously evoking the calm beauty of the Victorian picture book. Every tableau is a feast of elegant, formal lines and patinaed colors. Ages 3-7. (Feb.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
The careful little conductor never knows what to expect as he engineers his wooden train around a make-believe village, clocking daily runs from the cottage to the town. Soft, pastel pencil sketches create wonderful color-rich vistas and clever close-ups of the overlarge passengers as they climb gingerly into way-too-tiny train cars. Highly entertaining, from the carping conductor to the uproarious sneeze of the elephant, the book contains a nice array of concepts for teaching and reinforcing preschool skills, such as humor, predicting plot, counting, colors and vocabulary practice. The traveling animals also show flexibility, creating a picnic from the remnants of their inevitable train wreck. 2001, Margaret K. McElderry Books, $15.00. Ages 3 to 7. Reviewer: Deborah Zink Roffino
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
PreS-The conductor of a small toylike train has a funny feeling that his day is going to be a busy one. His first passenger going to town to do shopping is Mrs. Walrus. "Oh dear-She won't fit. But she did." The little train puffs and chuggas to pick up Mr. Bear next-and he's enormous, too, but he fits. The man's concern deepens as he approaches Mrs. Elephant. On the return trip, the huge animals and their massive purchases miraculously still fit into the little train. "It's just a question of balance," says Mrs. Elephant. Then disaster strikes when a bee flies into her trunk. Wormell's characters are delightfully illustrated in clear, bright oil-pastel crayons that define elements but with a soft edge that lends an old-fashioned quality to the artwork. Preschoolers will love the repetitious "puff-puff, chugga-chugga" as the little train makes its way along the track, and the concluding statement at the end of each double-page spread ("And it was"/"But she did"/"So they did," etc.) adds to the fun. However, when the conductor leaves the animals asleep in a big heap and goes off to his cottage for his good night's sleep, children may wonder how the animals are going to get home. Still, the book guarantees preschool audience participation and it's also good for a one-on-one lap-sit.-Patti Gonzales, Los Angeles Public Library Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st U.S. Edition
Product dimensions:
10.62(w) x 10.54(h) x 0.55(d)
Age Range:
3 - 7 Years

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Puff-Puff, Chugga-Chugga 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Discovered this little gem while shopping at my local Homegoods. The colorful and sweet illustrations plus the storyline led me to buy it in hopes that my 3 1/2 year old would enjoy the book. He does!! It is his favorite book and I truly enjoy reading this to him every night. A gem of a book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My five year old son LOVES this book. It's a book worth buying. He now reads it to me!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Christopher Wormell, author of 'Puff-Puff, Chugga-Chugga,' immediately captures the listener's attention with his soft, pastel drawings. These cartoon-like sketches allow the reader to escape into a world of laughter. Throughout this humorous story, Wormell uses rhyme, rhythm, and repetition, which will guarantee the attention of preschool children. As a result of numerous character voices and repetition actions and sounds incorporated into the story, young children will anxiously await to repeat the saying, 'puff-puff, chugga-chugga, puff-puff, chugga-chugga,' as the colorful train continues on its way. 'Puff-Puff, Chugga-Chugga,' is a creative and entertaining story about a train and its overly concerned conductor. The conductor begins his day thinking to himself, 'I have a funny feeling today will be a busy one.' As the conductor makes his way to town, he picks up Mrs. Walrus, Mr. Bear, and Mrs. Elephant, who just barely squeeze into the wooden cars. Even though the fearful conductor is worried about the heavy load, the train manages to arrive safely at the town station. After the three passengers visit the fishmonger, baker, and greengrocer, they take their purchases back to the train where the conductor cannot believe his eyes. 'It's just a question of balance,' added Mrs. Elephant. All was going as planned until an unexpected twist in the story leaves the reader in laughter. Young children will enjoy this book, due to the fact that Wormell uses artisic and imaginative ideas. I believe that the book is beneficial for preschool children because it enables them to use their imagination, which is essential for their cognitive development.