Driver Dan's Story Train

Common Sense Media says

Gentle series has subtle but positive messages for tots.





What parents need to know

Educational value

The stories include positive messages about interpersonal relationships and encourage early reading skills with listening comprehension, and some simple tasks like counting. 

Positive messages

The series is subtle in its approach, but it promotes positive social messages for preschoolers about themes like friendship, cooperation, curiosity, and respect. Each episode relates a children’s book to the characters’ experiences that day, so kids will see how general life lessons can apply to their own scenarios.

Positive role models

All of the characters are kind and caring, and each one uses his or her talents to help the others in some way.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this gentle series has subtle positive messages for youngsters about friendship, fair play, and self-esteem. The characters’ experiences and the featured stories are easily related to kids’ lives, so parents will find lots of opportunity to reinforce the lessons in the show. The featured stories also encourage pre-reading skills like active listening, retention, and comprehension.

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What's the story?

In DRIVER DAN’S STORY TRAIN, a soft-spoken lion named Driver Dan (voiced by Pat Monahan, lead singer of pop band Train) drives a train that picks up passengers along the way to Story Corner, where they all settle in for Dan to read them a book. Dan’s colorful friends include Twinkle the bird, Precious the camel, Tallulah the elephant, and Hip and Hop, the brother-sister bunny duo.

Is it any good?


If you’re looking for a mellow TV choice, this series has just what you need. Everything from the characters’ voices to their appealing hand-sewn appearance speaks to the soothing effect it has on viewers. Each episode wraps up with Dan’s story time, which is just the thing to help wind down busy preschoolers.

The show offers some positive social messages about kindness, helpfulness, and other friendly themes, but its style is much more subtle than that of many of the other series geared toward preschoolers, so parents may have to draw kids’ attention to the lessons the characters are trying to teach. As for other quality stuff, the story-driven content does promote early literacy skills and listening comprehension in its young viewers.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about stories. What kinds of stories do you enjoy the most? What are your favorite kinds of characters? If you could write a story, what would it be about?

  • Kids: How do the characters demonstrate that they are good friends? What talents or traits set each one apart from the others? Do these differences ever cause problems among them?

  • Families can also talk about TV and house rules. How much TV are you allowed to watch? What kinds of shows do you get to see? Why is it important to have times when the TV is off? What other activities do you enjoy in your free time?

TV details

Cast:Pat Monahan
Genre:Kids' Animation
TV rating:NR

This review of Driver Dan's Story Train was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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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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