Parents' Guide to

Freight Train

By Karyn Wellhousen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 2+

Young train lovers will be intrigued.

Freight Train Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 2+

Based on 3 parent reviews

age 2+

My 15 month old loves this book!

This book has helped my daughter learn her colors. She never tires of this story. I use sound effects and I ask her to find the different colors in which she has now mastered all of them.

This title has:

Educational value
age 2+

Great color book!

My 2 year old son loves this book. It talks about trains and colors.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (3):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Donald Crews has effectively captured our enchantment with trains. By four or five years of age, children will begin recognizing the color word strategically placed above the corresponding car. This recognition of familiar terms is crucial to supporting beginning readers. Older, reluctant readers will find it reassuring to see familiar color words as they read.

Crews won the 1979 Caldecott Honor award for his expressionistic art in Freight Train. His style draws readers quickly into the book by eliminating unnecessary details. For example, as the train rushes past cities, a simple, two-toned skyline is in view. Majestic mountains are depicted by an effective but vague use of shades of violet. Even though the train's stature in our culture has diminished, generations of children have spent hours playing with toy train sets, and the memory of a train ride lasts a lifetime. Perhaps this explains children's continued fascination with the visual appeal, sound, and movement of trains, as well as kids' enthusiasm for this book.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate