The Big Book of Trains



Draws in railroad buffs and reluctant readers.

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that a good balance of need-to-know facts and astounding tidbits will keep older readers (including parents) interested.

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What's the story?

Huge photographs, a big-book format, and some of the most powerful or unusual trains to be found will draw young railroad buffs--and reluctant readers--into the realm of the locomotive. There's a lot covered here: record-breaking engines, workhorse locomotives, and trains of the future; electric, diesel, and steam varieties; and a grab bag of facts and figures.


Is it any good?


What better way to convey in a book the majesty of a train than a huge 13-inch-by-10-inch photo of one? Even readers who aren't train buffs will enjoy examining these pictures over and over again. The size of the photographs and the book itself are especially appropriate for kids 7 and younger, but older children are more likely to enjoy the text details.

For older kids, a few questions yearn to be answered in the next printing. The section on monorail trains mentions that most have only two cars, but one child immediately asked why that was true. Another wanted to know whether most steam trains ran on both steam and coal, or just coal, after the text pointed out that both configurations existed. But these are minor quibbles -- overall, this is a great book for curious kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the different types of trains. How have trains evolved over the years?

Book details

Author:Christine Heap
Book type:Non-Fiction
Publisher:DK Publishing Inc.
Publication date:January 1, 1998
Number of pages:32
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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  • 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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