Two Little Trains

by Margaret Wise Brown, Illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon

HarperCollins, April, 2001.
Picture Book, 40 pages.
ISBN: 0060283769
Ages Baby-Preschool

Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown Two Little Trains is a story that shows a real train that goes West, along with a toy train that goes the same direction in a child's own home. The story begins with the little silver train pulling out of the station while the little toy train pulls out onto the floor headed past an enormous chair. On the left side is an illustration of the silver train that goes across the continent with the little train going in the same direction, except while it is in the house. The result is that the child learns how to play while he listens to the story. This is an invaluable little book for an adult who may not remember how to teach a child how to play. As the silver train crosses a real river by rolling over a real bridge, on the opposite page is an illustration of the toy train going around the side of a bathtub. Two Little Trains is also a beginning lesson on the geography and land forms of the American continent. The picture of the silver train going over the long steel tracks matches a picture of the little toy train going over the grid of tiles on the kitchen counter, and the picture of the little silver train going across the desert Southwest is matched by a picture of the little train marching across the dustpan. The trip over the mountains by one train is matched to a picture of the little train going up the bannister. And when the first train going West reaches the big, blue Pacific Ocean, the little toy train has finally gone upstairs toward a big blue blanket on a bed in which a child is fast asleep.

When the story is over, the child has been given many mental pictures of where his train can travel around the house, and the child's imagination has been stimulated by some very helpful ideas about how to play. This little book, by the author of Goodnight Moon, with new illustrations by Leo and Diane Dillon is an excellent starting place for a young child just learning how to play and imagine.

-- Sarah Reeves White

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This review was published in the September, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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