Trains Don’t Sleep

Cross bridges and canyons, plow through snow, charge down mountains, and meander across fields filled with sheep. And when it is time to rest and dreams are just ahead, never fear—trains don’t sleep so that you can.  With the feel of a classic and vivid artwork that captures the power and majesty of trains, this is a  fast-paced rhyming ode to the locomotive.

Oh, if I had a penny for every request for train books I’ve received in my three years as a librarian, I’d….well, probably be out of luck, because we don’t have pennies here in Canada anymore, but you get where I’m going with this. I get asked for train books almost as often as I get asked for dinosaur books, which means I’m prowling through the stacks in search of trains on a fairly regular basis. I’m also always on the hunt for train books that aren’t Thomas the Tank Engine related, as many young readers are eager to continue their journey into train-related picture books once they’ve outgrown Thomas and his friends. I was delighted, then, to receive a copy of Trains Don’t Sleep in the post, and I’m just as thrilled to share it with any fellow children’s librarians who might find themselves on the hunt for train books, too.

With gentle, rhyming text, Trains Don’t Sleep follows trains on their important business across the country, carrying freight, moving passengers (and the occasional circus elephant), and working tirelessly through the night.

A helpful glossary explains some of the train lingo used throughout the text, which is sure to delight young readers and add to their train-themed vocabulary.

The textured illustrations have a soft, almost dream-like quality that perfectly matches the soothing text to create a beautiful bedtime story that’s perfect for young train fanatics.  The settings are historical, rather than contemporary, with scenes that evoke the 1930s, and make the story feel like vintage classic. Children are unlikely to see a steam engine pulling circus cars any time soon, but seeing as steam engines are far more visually attractive than most contemporary locomotives, and more closely reflect the Thomas-style trains that most children are familiar with, the vintage setting makes a great deal of sense.

The text can also easily be shortened depending on the audience, without disrupting the flow of the story, making it a great choice for children of different ages.

A sweet, gentle, soothing bedtime story perfect for the little train conductors in your life!