Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Where Do Steam Trains Sleep At Night

Where Do Steam Trains Sleep At Night. Brianna Caplan Sayres. Illustrated by Christian Slade. 2016. Random House. 32 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Where do steam trains sleep at night after puffing down the tracks? Do their moms steam up hot cocoa for their just-before-bed snacks?

Premise/plot: Readers meet all sorts of trains--steam trains, snowplow trains, passenger trains, freight trains, monorails, fire trains, high speed trains, breakdown trains, trolleys, subway trains--as they prepare for bedtime. Two questions per spread is the routine.

My thoughts: True or false. For a kid who loves, loves, loves trains and truly has a one-track mind, there can never be enough train books. I like the fact that there are so many books about trains, else books wouldn't prove very appealing to those train-obsessed boys and girls. And the fact that there are so many to choose from may help parents out some. So I can't really say much against this one. But. As an adult who isn't particularly train-crazy, I wasn't thrilled by this one. I liked some of the spreads better than others. Some questions just worked better for me. For example:

Where do freight trains sleep at night when cargo's reached its destination? Do they rest on Daddy's flatbed as he chugs home to the station?
Careful readers will notice an engineer mouse on every spread of this one. It's like he loves to play peek-a-boo with little ones. The text doesn't mention him at all. How long will it take your little one to notice the playful mouse?

Text: 3 out of 5
Illustrations: 3 out of 5
Total: 6 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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