An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Trains: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about trains?

Choo choo! The iconic train is a classic vehicle, so there’s no wonder there are so many fabulous books with trains at their center. From old classics like “The Little Engine That Could” and “The Caboose That Got Loose” to new classics like “Steam Train, Dream Train” on to some hidden gems like “Choo-Choo Colors” and “Alphabet Trains”… this list has them all. So “All Aboard!” You’re about to be swept away on a host of train adventures.

Share this list
Add to list
Locomotive
Written & illustrated by Brian Floca
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

All aboard! From the creator of the “stunning” (Booklist) Moonshot, a rich and detailed sensory exploration of America’s early railroads. It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean. Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

Add to list
Trains Run!
Written by George Ella Lyon & illustrated by Mick Wiggins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

We’ve already learned that trucks roll, planes fly, and boats float. Now, all aboard for the fourth book in George Ella Lyon’s transportation series, and this time learn all about trains! Train travels down the track— all day gone all night back. Trains run! From steam engines to subways, from the locomotive to the caboose, this story stays right on track, exploring all different kinds of trains and what they do in a day.

Add to list
Santa and the Goodnight Train
Written by June Sobel & illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Ho-ho-hold on to your teddy bear! The Goodnight Train follows Santa’s sleigh on a magical ride through a winter wonderland in this Christmas sequel to The Goodnight Train and The Goodnight Train Rolls On!.

Fa La La! Fa La La!
Chooo! Chooo!
 
Next stop, the North Pole! It’s Christmas Eve, and the Goodnight Train is on a roll, racing mischievous Santa through a winter wonderland. Hear the jingle bells, taste some candy canes, and spy a flying hoof or two on a merry ride to Dreamland—with one magical detour—in this Christmas companion to _The Goodnight Train_ and _The Goodnight Train Rolls On!_ Ho-ho-hold on tight for this unforgettable holiday ride!

Add to list
Mr. Complain Takes the Train
Written by Wade Bradford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this interactive story that encourages positivity and gratitude, a fussy fellow takes an extraordinary train ride, yet remains thoroughly unimpressed. Readers will hoot with laughter at this silly sendup of the sourpusses of the world. After all, doesn’t everyone know a Mr. Complain or two? Mr. Complain is ready for his vacation in Dullsville, but on the train ride there, nothing is the way he likes it. First, the engine is too loud. Then, the passengers are too happy. Plus, the cars are too crowded, the seats are too lumpy, and his seatmate is too prickly. And that’s all before the train even leaves the station! Will Mr. Complain ever be able to relax and enjoy the ride? Find out as he travels through mountains, volcanoes, caves, and even oceans in this silly interactive story that’s perfect for train- and animal-loving kids.

Add to list
Snakes on a Train
Written & illustrated by Kathryn Dennis
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

An adorable board book full of sibilant sounds and other word play, Snakes on a Train is as fun for parents as it is for children, and sure to be a read-aloud hit. The conductor takes the tickets as the snakes start crawling on. The tracks are checked, the whistle blows. It’s time to move along. Hissssssssssss goes the sound of the train.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Kit and Kaboodle Take the Train - Stories + Puzzles = Reading Success! Highlights Puzzle Readers offer an innovative approach to learning to read that integrates puzzles and stories to develop motivated, confident readers. All aboard for a rollicking ride as Kit and Kaboodle have fun adventures on their train trip in this Level 2 Highlights Puzzle Reader. Kids can help the duo by finding items for their journey in six Hidden Pictures puzzles that double as story illustrations. With a bonus picture dictionary, Kit and Kaboodle Take the Train is perfect for readers who are starting to explore reading. National Parenting Seal of ApprovalWinner, National Parenting Product Award (NAPPA)

  • The Polar Express - 1986 Caldecott Medal Winner A young boy, lying awake one Christmas Eve, is welcomed aboard a magical trip to the North Pole . . . Through dark forests, over tall mountains, and across a desert of ice, the Polar Express makes its way to the city atop the world, where the boy will make his Christmas wish. For millions of readers worldwide, this mysterious journey to the North Pole has become a beloved classic. In this 30th anniversary edition, the inimitable artistry of Chris Van Allsburg is revealed in a never-before-seen fashion, with a new jacket design and expanded interior layout. Includes author’s note, downloadable audio read by Liam Neeson, and golden “All Aboard” ornament.

  • The Silver Arrow - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Magicians comes a must-read, wholly original middle-grade debut perfect for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia and Roald Dahl Dear Uncle Herbert, You’ve never met me, but I’m your niece Kate, and since it is my birthday tomorrow and you are super-rich could you please send me a present? Kate and her younger brother Tom lead dull, uninteresting lives. And if their dull, uninteresting parents are anything to go by, they don’t have much to look forward to. Why can’t Kate have thrilling adventures and save the world the way people do in books? Even her 11th birthday is shaping up to be mundane – that is, until her mysterious and highly irresponsible Uncle Herbert, whom she’s never even met before, surprises her with the most unexpected, exhilarating, inappropriate birthday present of all time: a colossal steam locomotive called the Silver Arrow. Kate and Tom’s parents want to send it right back where it came from. But Kate and Tom have other ideas – and so does the Silver Arrow – and soon they’re off to distant lands along magical rail lines in the company of an assortment of exotic animals who, it turns out, can talk. With only curiosity, excitement, their own resourcefulness and the thrill of the unknown to guide them, Kate and Tom are on the adventure of a lifetime . . . and who knows? They just might end up saving the world after all. This thrilling fantasy adventure will not only entertain young readers but inspire them to see the beautiful, exciting, and precious world around them with new eyes.

  • The Little Engine That Could: 90th Anniversary Edition - Celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Little Engine That Could with this all-time classic reillustrated by Caldecott Award-winning artist Dan Santat! The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have inspired millions of children around the world since the story was first published in 1930. Cherished by readers for ninety years, The Little Engine That Could is a classic tale of a little engine that, despite her size, triumphantly pulls a train full of wonderful things to the children waiting on the other side of a mountain. This anniversary edition features the original text, all-new reimagined artwork and an introduction from Caldecott Medal-winner Dan Santat, and a special letter from Dolly Parton, award-winning singer-songwriter and founder of Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.

Add to list
The Train to Impossible Places
Written by P G Bell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-12

A train that travels through impossible places. A boy trapped in a snow globe. And a girl who’s about to go on the adventure of a lifetime.Suzy Smith believes in science. Then the Impossible Postal Express comes roaring through her living room and her world turns upside down. After sneaking on board, Suzy suddenly finds herself Deputy Post Master aboard the train,and faced with her first delivery—to the evil Lady Crepuscula. Then, the package itself begs Suzy not to deliver him. A talking snow globe, Frederick has information Crepuscula could use to take over the entire Union of Impossible Places.But when protecting Frederick means putting her friends in danger, Suzy has to make a difficult choice—with the fate of the entire Union at stake

Add to list
The Secret Subway
Written by Shana Corey & illustrated by Red Nose Studio
Thoughts from The Goodfather
The Secret Subway is both very engaging and enjoyable. It entertains readers while also educating them about this fascinating piece of New York City subway history. The illustrations are unique and wonderfully match this tale of an inventor's ambitious undertaking.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“New York City in the 1860s was a mess- crowded, disgusting, filled with garbage. You see, way back in 1860, there were no subways, just cobblestone streets. That is, until Alfred Ely Beach had the idea for a fan-powered train that would travel underground. On February 26, 1870, after fifty-eight days of drilling and painting and plastering, Beach unveiled his masterpiece-and throngs of visitors took turns swooshing down the track. The Secret Subwaywill wow readers, just as Beach’s underground train wowed riders over a century ago.”

Add to list
Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Thoughts from Lauren Hancock
This book is really everything I needed in a board book. Its rhyming text flows well and is fun to read, and there are never too many words on a single page. It contains loads of things that are interesting to toddlers and easy to talk about, from trains and race cars to animals and toys. All of these elements combine to form a board book that is a great way to fill time while waiting in line, running errands, or keeping a little one quiet.
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

An unabridged board book version of the bestselling hardcover, perfect for small hands! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, and kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Dreamy illustrations and gentle rhyming text make this a beloved bedtime favorite for budding train enthusiasts everywhere.

Add to list
Overground Railroad
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A window into a child’s experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of Before She Was Harriet and Finding Langston.**

As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North– one she can’t begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains.

Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own– until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York’s Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity.

James Ransome’s mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen’s journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. Overground Railroad is, as Lesa notes, a story “of people who were running from and running to at the same time,” and it’s a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages.

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome’s Before She Was Harriet, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award

“Ransome’s lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past.”–Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

“a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Add to list
When Jackie Saved Grand Central: The True Story of Jacqueline Kennedy's Fight for an American Icon
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Down by the Station - Did you ever wonder who rides the zoo train early in the morning? Climb aboard and join the mischievous, sleepy, and playful baby animals on their way to the children’s zoo. The engineer has to get them there before the first busload of children arrives . . . but these baby animals just want to have fun! This delightful adventure full of mishaps, daring rescues, and a runaway red balloon has a cumulative text and playful animal noises that will have readers singing along-if they’re not racing to the zoo to ride the train themselves.

  • The Caboose Who Got Loose - Grammy -

    Bill Peet wrote 34 children's books in his career and they are all still in print! The Caboose Who Got Loose is one of our favorites. Written in effortless verse, the story chugs right along, paired beautifully with Peet's signature illustrations. He has a gift for breathing life into animals and familiar objects, in this case, a caboose; the houses and other structures and vehicles also take on human qualities and emotions. The book is a delight to read again and again.

  • Danger at Dead Man's Pass - Curses aren’t real…are they? Twelve-year-old artist and budding railway detective Hal Beck is back on the case. This time, he and his Uncle Nat have been invited by Baron Essenbach to help solve a mystery…a supernatural one. Because Essenbach thinks there might be something going on with his wife’s family, the Kratzensteins. They are powerful German railway tycoons who are very rich—and maybe cursed. After all, legend says that an ancestor of the Kratzensteins once made a deal with the devil. Hal and Uncle Nat agree to help going undercover to spend time with the family and investigate. As more and more weirdness happens, can Hal solve this paranormal puzzle before it’s too late?

  • The Train of Lost Things - A magical story about a boy’s love for his dying father and his journey to the mythic Train of Lost Things, where beloved lost objects are rescued and protected until they can be returned. Perfect for fans of The Phantom Tollbooth, The Bridge to Terabithia, and Lost in the Sun. Marty cherishes the extra-special birthday present his dad gave him – a jean jacket on which he’s afixed numerous buttons – because it’s a tie to his father, who is sick and doesn’t have much time left. So when his jacket goes missing, Marty is devastated. When his dad tells him the story of the Train of Lost Things, a magical train that flies through the air collecting objects lost by kids, Marty is sure that the train must be real, and that if he can just find the train and get his jacket back, he can make his dad better as well. It turns out that the train is real – and it’s gone out of control! Instead of just collecting things that have been accidentally lost, the train has been stealing things. Along with Dina and Star, the girls he meets aboard the train, Marty needs to figure out what’s going on and help set it right. As he searches for his jacket, and for a way to fix the train, Marty begins to wonder whether he’s looking for the right things after all. And he realizes that sometimes you need to escape reality in order to let it sink in. In this achingly beautiful adventure, it is the power of memories, and the love between a father and son, that ultimately save the day. Praise for The Train of Lost Things “Paquette writes with compassion and a childlike sense of belief, and Marty’s journey–both personal and fantastic–will speak to readers on many levels.” –Booklist “Marty’s inner dialogue will appeal to readers of Gordon Korman, Jeff Kinney, and Dav Pilkey.” –School Library Journal “Marty’s pain at the imminent loss of his father is keenly felt, and Paquette deftly balances the emotional weight of his fear and grief with his fantasy journey on a train flying through the universe.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books “Kids everywhere can relate to the sorrow of losing a cherished item, giving this narrated adventure story a wide appeal [and] readers will connect with the unconditional love and hope that exists between parent and child.” –School Library Connection

Add to list
Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

What if timid Baby Lincoln broke free of her bossy sister and set off on an unexpected journey? Kate DiCamillo presents a touching new adventure set in Mercy Watson’s world. Baby Lincoln’s older sister, Eugenia, is very fond of telling Baby what to do, and Baby usually responds by saying “Yes, Sister.” But one day Baby has had enough. She decides to depart on a Necessary Journey, even though she has never gone anywhere without Eugenia telling her what to take and where to go. And in fact Baby doesn’t knowwhere she is headed – only that she was entirely happy in the previous night’s dream, sitting aboard a train with a view of shooting stars. Who might Baby meet as she strikes out on her own, and what could she discover about herself? Will her impulsive adventure take her away from Eugenia for good?

Add to list
Delivery to the Lost City
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

P. G. Bell’s Delivery to the Lost City is the thrilling conclusion of the Train to Impossible Places trilogy, a magical middle-grade adventure. When the Impossible Postal Express is charged with returning an overdue library book, Suzy Smith looks forward to a nice, simple delivery-just the thing she needs to convince her anxious parents to let her keep her job on the train. So she’s less than thrilled to discover that not only is the book alive, it’s full of a growing and dangerous magic. Worse still, the world to which it belongs is missing, and Suzy and her friends will have to use all their ingenuity to find it. Suzy must help a fledgling rebellion seize power, return the book to its rightful owner, and get home before her parents ground her for life. The conclusion to the Train to Impossible Places trilogy promises to be the most adventurous yet.

Add to list
Railway Jack: The True Story of an Amazing Baboon
Written by KT Johnston & illustrated by César Samaniego
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Jim was a South African railway inspector in the late 1800s who lost his legs in an accident while at work. Unable to perform all his tasks with his disability but desperate to keep his job, Jim discovered a brilliant solution, a baboon named Jack. Jim trained Jack to help him both at home and at the depot. But when the railway authorities and the public discovered a monkey on the job, Jack and Jim had to work together to convince everyone that they made a great team. This inspiring true story celebrates the history of service animals and a devoted friendship.

Add to list
Murder on the Safari Star
Written by Sam Sedgman and M. G. Leonard & illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Following his adventure on the California Comet, artist and amateur sleuth Hal Beck is back and looking forward to another railway journey with his journalist uncle, this time riding the historic Safari Star through South Africa. Then he soon finds himself drawn into another mystery when one of their fellow passengers dies on board! Accident… or murder? With help from a new friend and his friend’s pet mongoose, Hal is determined to figure out if a murder has really taken place and, if so, who amongst a long list of suspects is the killer–all before the Safari Star arrives at its final destination.

Add to list
All Aboard! Pacific Northwest
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Every part of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. In the latest title of this popular board book series, babies and parents climb aboard to explore the Pacific Northwest and its fun activities, from shopping, to hiking, to skiing, and more! Ride along from Oregon to Washington to British Columbia to discover cities like Portland, Vancouver, and Seattle and sights like Mt. Rainier and Haystack Rock. All aboard for a sensational experience in travel! Haily and Kevin Meyers are the husband and wife team behind the dazzling baby product line, Lucy Darling (lucydarling.com). Haily’s design work can be seen on their unique monthly sticker designs, nursery art prints, baby memory books, and multiple baby products. Their work has been featured in Pregnancy and Newborn magazine, Red Tricycle, Babiekins Magazine, Cool Mom Picks, KIWI magazine, Mollie Makes magazine, Fresh Style magazine, Mom Trends, HGTV Canada, and specialty baby shops worldwide. They live in Arizona.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Trucker and Train - Kindness and friendship triumph over bullying in this action-packed story that’s perfect for fans of Little Blue Truck and Loren Long’s Otis stories, and for every vehicle-obsessed little one. Trucker, the big rig, loves to rule the road with his size, strength, and mighty horn. The other vehicles swerve and shake as Trucker blasts past, expecting them to follow along in awe. Then Trucker meets the louder, stronger, and kinder Train. He sees how the other vehicles gleam and swoon when Train is around. And he wonders, Why don’t they ever gleam at me? Trucker just wants Train to go away . . . until a broken railroad crossing signal changes everything. Can Trucker use his size and strength for the good of his fellow vehicles before it’s too late? Perfect for fans of Little Blue Truck and Loren Long’s Otis stories, Trucker and Train is a classic in the making.

  • Here Comes the Train - With quiet observation and evocative watercolors, Charlotte Voake perfectly captures the excitement every child feels when he or she hears the far-off sound of an approaching train.

  • Kidnap on the California Comet - In this second book of the middle-grade Adventures on Trains series, amateur sleuth Hal Beck travels to the U.S. with his uncle to ride a famous train–the California Comet–and stumbles on a new mystery to solve, in M.G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman’s Kidnap on the California Comet… After his adventure on the Highland Falcon, amateur sleuth Hal Beck is excited to embark on another journey with his journalist uncle. This time, they’re set to ride the historic California Comet from Chicago to San Francisco. Hal mostly keeps to himself on the trip, feeling homesick and out of place in America. But he soon finds himself drawn into another mystery when the young daughter of a billionaire tech entrepreneur goes missing! Along with new friends–spunky 13-year-old Mason and his younger sister, Hadley–Hal races against the clock to find the missing girl before the California Comet reaches its final destination.

  • The Little Red Caboose - All aboard! This classic Little Golden Book, originally published in 1953, tells the tale of a charming red caboose who wants nothing more than to be as popular as the big steam engine at the front of the train. Boys and girls will love the inspiring tale and the colorful illustrations by Tibor Gergely.

Add to list
Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story
Written by Cynthia Rylant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In Appalachia each Christmas, a boy named Frankie waits beside the tracks for the Christmas Train, which will bring presents to the children who live in coal towns and hollows. Year after year, Frankie hopes that one particular gift – one very special gift – will be tossed to him from that train. And it is this enduring hope that will guide him to the true meaning of the season. Cynthia Rylant’s story about expectation and the transforming power of kindness first appeared in her acclaimed collection Children of Christmas. Now gloriously illustrated by Chris K. Soentpiet with watercolor paintings of glistening trains and snow-covered hills, it shines all the more brightly.

Add to list
Trapped on the D.C. Train!
Written by Ron Roy & illustrated by Timothy Bush
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From popular A to Z Mysteries author Ron Roy comes a red, white, and blue mystery perfect for the election season! In the thirteenth book of the Capital Mysteries–an early chapter book mystery series featuring fun facts and famous sites from Washington, D.C.– KC and Marshall have tickets for the express train out of Union Station. It even has a VIP car at the back for the vice president, the kids, and the secret service agents to travel in. But when KC and Marshall sneak away from the secret service agents to go exploring, someone tampers with the train! And that someone is searching - car by car - for KC and Marshall. There’s nowhere to run! Each book highlights one of the famous museums, buildings, or monuments from the Washington area and includes a map and a two-page fun fact spread with photographs. Parents, teachers, and librarians agree that these highly collectible chapter books are perfect for emerging readers and any kid who love mysteries!

Add to list
The Highland Falcon Thief
Written by M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman & illustrated by Elisa Paganelli
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

In The Highland Falcon Thief: Adventures on Trains #1, a middle-grade series starter from M. G. Leonard and Sam Sedgman, a young boy is swept up in an investigation to uncover the perpetrator of a jewel theft. When eleven-year-old Harrison Hal Beck is forced to accompany his travel-writer uncle on the last journey of a royal train, he expects a boring trip spent away from video games and children his age. But then Hal spots a girl who should not be on board, and he quickly makes friends with the stowaway, Lenny. Things get even more interesting when the royal prince and princess board for the last leg of the journey–because the princess’s diamond necklace is soon stolen and replaced with a fake! Suspicion falls on the one person who isn’t supposed to be there: Lenny. It’s up to Hal, his keen observation, and his skill as a budding sketch artist to uncover the real jewel thief, clear his friend’s name, and return the diamond necklace before The Highland Falcon makes its last stop.

Add to list
Mr. Putter & Tabby Take the Train
Written by Cynthia Rylant & illustrated by Arthur Howard
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Mr. Putter and his fine cat, Tabby, are going for a train ride with their neighbors, Mrs. Teaberry and her good dog, Zeke. They’ve planned the perfect afternoon trip. But when they get to the station, they’re in for a big surprise: No pets are allowed on the train! It looks like the trip is off, until Mr. Putter comes up with a clever idea. . . .

Add to list
Steam Train, Dream Train (Easy Reader Books, Reading Books for Children)
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker & illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

From the team behind the #1 New York Times Bestseller Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, bouncy kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls. Sweet and silly dreams are guaranteed for any budding train enthusiasts!Introduce your child to new animals and experiences with this ideal children’s bedtime bookA great read aloud book for kids or early reader book for kids beginning to read on their ownFeatures beautiful art from an award-winning team of writers and illustratorsIf you loved Mighty, Mighty Construction Site and Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site, this book will be the ideal addition to your children’s book set and is perfect for readers of these categories: First Story BooksBedtime Story BooksFirst Book for ToddlersRead Along Books for Kids

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Tootle - In this classic Little Golden Book from 1945, Tootle is a young locomotive who loves to chase butterflies through the meadow. But he must learn to stay on the tracks no matter what–if he ever hopes to achieve his dream of being a Flyer between New York and Chicago!

  • Mailing May (Revised) - Nowadays it’s no big deal or a girl to travel seventy-five miles. But when Charlotte May Pierstorff wanted to cross seventy-five miles of Idaho mountains to see her grandma in 1914, it was a very big deal indeed. There was no highway except the railroad, and a train ticket would have cost her parents a full day’s pay. Here is the true story of how May got to visit her grandma, thanks to her won spunk, her father’s ingenuity, and the U.S. mail. 00-01 CA Young Reader Medal Masterlist and 01 Colorado Children’s Book Award (Pic. Bk Cat.)

  • The Detour of the Elephants - In this all-new very special miniseries, the Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locations–all around the world! The Aldens follow a clue to Beijing, China, where they uncover their next mission–to return a mysterious clay artifact to its rightful owner. Their journey leads them to a scenic section of the Great Wall, but a thief threatens to ruin their trip and endanger their precious cargo. The Aldens’ next clue brings them to an elephant reserve in Thailand, but when their contact acts suspiciously, they worry someone close to them may be working for the other side. Who can the Aldens trust to help them return the remaining artifacts to their rightful owners?

  • The Boxcar Children - The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

Add to list
Underground: Subway Systems Around the World: Us Edition
Written & illustrated by Uijung Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

This is a playful search-and-find, inside/outside book of underground systems around the world. Alternating shortened pages introduce the subways of 12 different cities. On the first page we see the exterior of the train, and are presented with fascinating facts and figures about the transport system. On the following, shortened page, we find the inside of the train and the platform, bustling with activity. On this busy page, young readers are invited to spot key items that are unique to the city in question; a pretzel, an I - NY t-shirt and a Statue of Liberty headband on the New York Subway, for example. Perfect for train-obsessed children, but also for a wider audience, this book teaches young readers about transport and also about cultural signifiers of different cities around the world. Uijung Kim’s busy, colourful illustrations have a manga-like sensibility that feels joyously contemporary. The cities included are: London, New York, Tokyo, Seoul, Moscow, Beijing, Mexico City, Paris, Madrid and Berlin.

Add to list
That's Not My Train
Written by Fiona Watt & illustrated by Rachel Wells
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

A mouse searches for his train among ones that are not his because their windows are too shiny or their sides are too bumpy.

Add to list
Ty's Travels: All Aboard!
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons & illustrated by Nina Mata
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A Geisel Honor-winning series! Both an excellent book for guided reading and a winning read-aloud. –Kirkus (starred review)Join Ty on his imaginative adventures in Ty’s Travels: All Aboard!, a My First I Can Read series by acclaimed author and illustrator team Kelly Starling Lyons and Nina Mata. Family time and imagination and play are highlighted in this fun story, perfect for sharing with children 3 to 6.Ty wishes his family would play with him, but everyone is too busy before dinnertime. Luckily, Ty knows just what to do… Time for fun. Celebrate the power of imagination in All Aboard! With simple, rhythmic text and joyful, bright art, this Guided Reading Level I and My First series is perfect for shared reading with a child. Books at this level feature basic language, word repetition, and whimsical illustrations, ideal for sharing with emergent readers. The active, engaging stories have appealing plots and lovable characters, encouraging children to continue their reading journey.A Chicago Public Library Best Fiction Book for Young Readers 2020 Listed as one of 2021 Here Wee Read Ultimate Diverse Children’s Book Author Kelly Starling Lyons selected as the 2021 Piedmont Laureate

Add to list
The Coal Thief
Written by Alane Adams & illustrated by Lauren Gallegos
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Brrr! Georgie wakes up to a freezing morning in 1920s Pennsylvania and gets the bad news that there is no coal to heat the farmhouse–and he knows there is no money to buy more, either. Just after he finds this out, along comes his friend Harley, who drags him off on an adventure to find some mysterious “black gold.” Before Georgie can catch his breath, he’s in a pile of trouble–all the way up to his ears! Take a trip back in time and join Georgie in this heartwarming tale of mischief made and lessons learned in America’s storied past. USA Best Book Awards: Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction, Finalist

Add to list
The Great Brain Robbery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

The adventure continues in book two of the stunning The Train to Impossible Places middle-grade fantasy series! Suzy Smith and her friends have gathered again for the re-launch of The Impossible Postal Express. The celebrations don’t last long though, before Trollville is rocked by a violent tremor–one of a series growing more powerful by the day. It’s clear something sinister is underfoot. Nevertheless Suzy’s got a long overdue package that the Express must deliver, and it may just lead her to some answers. In P. G. Bell’s The Great Brain Robbery: A Train to Impossible Places Novel, Suzy and the Express will travel deep under Trollville through the Uncanny Valley, and sky-high to new impossible places like Cloud Forge. She and the gang will test out its kinks, er, new features, and meet new allies and enemies alike, from a sentient cloud-consciousness to an obnoxious magician.

Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  • Steam Train, Dream Train Colors - All aboard for a rainbow of train cars and their lively animal crew! Vivid colors and cozy rhyming text inspired by the bestselling Steam Train, Dream Train will make learning colors a rich experience for the smallest readers.

  • Pete the Cat's Train Trip - Pete the Cat is back in New York Times bestselling artist James Dean’s beginning reader Pete the Cat’s Train Trip. Pete can’t wait to visit Grandma, especially because he gets to take a train ride to see her! The conductor gives Pete a tour of the train, and Pete gets to see the engine and honk the horn. Pete even makes new friends and plays games on board. What a cool ride! Pete the Cat’s Train Trip is a My First I Can Read Book, which means it’s perfect for shared reading with a child. Fans of Pete the Cat will delight as Pete takes the grooviest train trip in this hilarious I Can Read adventure.

  • Journey on a Runaway Train - In this all-new very special mini-series, the Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locations–all around the world! After finding a painted turtle figurine, the Aldens are introduced to the Silverton family and Reddimus Society, a secret guild whose mission is to return lost artifacts and treasures to the sites they were taken from. The Aldens board a private train to New Mexico to return the turtle to its original home, and they encounter enemies of Reddimus along the way! The trip is a success…but instead of returning home, there’s a last-minute change in plans. The Boxcar Children must continue the mission for the society and deliver more things, all around the globe!

  • The Clue in the Papyrus Scroll - In this all-new very special mini-series, the Aldens have been recruited by a secret society to return lost artifacts and treasures to their rightful locations–all around the world! The Aldens arrive in Egypt but the agent they’re supposed to meet has gone missing! With the help of a puzzle in a papyrus scroll, they figure out their next mission–to deliver a tiny ancient pharaoh statue to an archaelogist at the Pyramids! Along the way they outwit a thief who tries to steal all the treasures. Their next mission is to England, to return one of the “crown jewels of Stonehenge.” But someone is following them! Could it be someone from the powerful Argent family, ruthless antique collectors and bitter rivals of the Silvertons?

Add to list
The Uncanny Express
Written by Kara LaReau & illustrated by Jen Hill
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Jaundice and Kale are back from their adventure on the high seas, and they are settling back into a quiet life in Dullsville, just the way they like it. The tea is tepid, the oatmeal is tasteless, and the socks are ripe for darning . . . until Aunt Shallot shows up and reveals herself to be anything but the dull relation they were expecting. Instead, she tells her nieces she is Magique, Queen of Magic, and she’s on her way to a big show and in need of two willing assistants. As Magique and the Bland sisters board the Uncanny Express, they meet a cast of mystifying characters. And when Magique goes missing, it’s up to Jaundice and Kale to solve the mystery–with the help of famous detective Hugo Fromage. An inventive story in the tradition of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express has all the whimsy and humor that readers who are looking for an anything-but-bland adventure will love.

Add to list
The Railway Children
Written by Edith Nesbit
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

After a father’s abrupt arrest, his wife and children must leave their comfortable London home for a small cottage that sits near a bustling railway. While the mother struggles to make ends meet, siblings Roberta (nicknamed Bobbie), Peter and Phyllis adapt to their gloomy present with hopes of a brighter future. Bobbie is the oldest of three middleclass children thrust into poverty after their father is falsely imprisoned. She and her siblings, Peter and Phyliss, learn to embrace their new surroundings including the busy railway station. The children are frequent visitors of the local hub, engaging in an array of innocent yet spirited adventurers. Throughout their stay, they befriend multiple passengers, one of whom may be the key to their father’s freedom. The author creates an authentic portrayal of real-world conflict and consequences. Despite countless challenges, the children manage to find unique opportunities in the face of adversity. They are presented as resourceful and self-sufficient protagonists whose ingenuity makes them the heroes of their own story. With an eye-catching new cover, and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of The Railway Children is both modern and readable.

Add to list
Stanley's Train
Written & illustrated by William Bee
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

It’s another busy day for Stanley and friends!

All aboard on Stanley’s train and tickets ready, please. Stanley’s passengers have a beach ball, a toy boat, and an inner tube. Where could Stanley’s train be headed? Off we go on another adventure! Choo, choo!

With bright illustrations, adorable characters, and a padded-cover format, William Bee’s Stanley series is perfect for readers transitioning from board books to picture books.

Add to list
Night Train: A Journey From Dusk to Dawn
Written by Annie Cronin Romano & illustrated by Ileana Soon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This cinematic book takes readers along on a steam engine’s journey through the night, from a city to a small town. Varied landscapes as well as color shifts show the passage of time from dusk to night to dawn. The rhythmic text is perfect for bedtime reading, and train lovers young and old will appreciate the various railway details incorporated in the text and art. Night train wakens to the dusk, groggy, stretching, load and roll, load and roll. Bringing warmth and wonder to the night, this book will send young readers off to sleep dreaming of the steady train journeying through the night.

Add to list
All Aboard! California
Written by Kevin Meyers and Haily Meyers & illustrated by Haily Meyers
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

From the creators of BabyLit®: Every area of the world can be mapped out for adventure, and brilliant babies love the sophistication of traveling by train. This new board book series written by the husband and wife team of Haily and Kevin Meyers and illustrated by Haily, celebrates the unique qualities of each city while employing a fun primer element to tell the story. These books will have you and baby seeing the world by train and will turn story time into a globetrotting event. Perfect as a souvenir or as part of a geography collection for brilliant babies, the All Aboard! series will be pulling into your station next!

    Did you enjoy our children's book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.