Little boys love their trains and my son is no exception. This rather quirky book was, therefore, an instant hit!
and the train goes... is a sing-song-y book that takes the reader on a brief train journey and turns the traditional bed-time story into a full-blown entertainment session. The premise is simple, a train arrives at the station, collects various passengers and takes them on a journey leaving an empty station once again. The time frame for the story is but a 2 minute piece of history. Where the train goes and where the passengers get off is left to the imagination - the beauty is in the writing.
For those of you aware of Robert Lewis Stephenson's "From a Railway Carriage" (one of my all-time favourite childhood poems) the form and idea will seem familiar. The meter is that of the clickety-clack of a train as it traverses the sleepers. The pace starts off slow then gathers in intensity before reaching a train whistle climax (but not in the way you'd imagine). Despite the possible pace of the book the text remains remarkably flexible and allows you to read at a pace to accommodate your child. If you need space to talk about the pictures or discuss the meaning of the words then it can be found without disrupting the story.
Children's books that are repetitive allow the child to join in and to practice their recall. This book employs those tactics well and in a way that won't annoy the adult reader. This really is a fun, interactive book that's a pleasure to read over and over again!
The illustrations remind me a little of Ivor the Engine. They are cartoon-like but not in the traditional toddler style. There's an intricacy to the pictures which allows for some good observations and discussions around the text. This book doesn't talk down to the child at all and therein lies its strength.
I'd heartily recommend this book to boys and girls alike. It would probably appeal from about 18 months (or whenever your child can concentrate for about 5 minutes) and will hold its appeal to around 5. As I say, as an adult I've not yet tired!
Borrow from the library if you must but, ultimately, this is a book to buy! At under £5 new from Amazon (and far less second hand) you'll be foolish not to! Wooooowooooooo!