Freight Train



Adaptation reflects simplicity of classic preschool book.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app is super-easy to use, even for preschoolers.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

At the end of the story, there's a link you can tap to buy the book (the paper version).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Freight Train is an interactive version of the classic 1978 Caldecott Honors-winning picture book by Donald Crews. In the slim and simple book, kids are introduced to the different cars on a freight train, and then get to watch the train go. The app allows readers to interact with each of the cars. The original book is geared toward toddlers and preschoolers, and the app suits these demographics well. Note that the train songs that are sung in the background throughout can be turned off by tapping the music note at the bottom of the screen.

Is it any good?


The developers of the FREIGHT TRAIN app were wise not to go overboard with high-tech bells and whistles. The simplicity of the original book -- in both its spare text and clean, uncluttered artwork -- is what made it a classic. Here, kids get neat little extras, like the ability to open the door of the stock car and find cows inside or the chance to release water from the tank car. And they get to see the train zip along in full motion animation at the end. Very nicely done.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Release date:December 8, 2010
Publisher:HarperCollins Publishers
Minimum software requirements:iOS 3.1 or later

This review of Freight Train was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byAlicebluechgo August 26, 2014

Disappointed that it doesn't work

As a former librarian, I was excited that I could buy this for my granddaughter. I downloaded it, but it doesn.t work. Aargh! I know CommonSenseMedia made me promise not to blame them if it doesn't work, but I'm pretty bummed out. If someone can help me, I,ll order again through CSM. :(
Parent of a 6 year old Written bymadsmooney1214 September 30, 2012

freight train

get to see the train zip along in full motion animation at the end. Very nicely done.
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Kid, 3 years old June 26, 2011

For your train-obsessed little one.

It's a pretty good when you have a train-obsessed kid like mine. I like how it reads to you, and the colors and interactions you get on the train is pretty awesome too.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models


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