Book Mama: Chugga, Chugga, READ! Books About Trains

Books about Trains

Trains.  I have never known so much about trains in my life. I know about steam trains, passenger trains and freight trains. I know the difference between box cars, coal cars, engines and cabooses.  I know about switch tracks and railroad signals. I have made trains from paper, from cardboard boxes, with paints and I have even sewn them on quilts.  I know the words to all our train songs and I have memorized all our train stories. And of course, I have made a train cake. So, the only thing left to do is to share this with you!

Hey Mr. Choo-Choo Where Are You Going?

(Susan Wickberg)

Hey, Mr. Choo-Choo, red, white and blue-choo.

Hey Mr. Choo-Choo, what are you doing?

I think this is my absolute favorite transportation book maybe in the world!  We checked it out of the library one day and loved it so much that we bought our own copy. My eldest son memorized it and could recite the whole book at one point. My youngest loves it as well.

This book tells the story of a train traveling from the station to the seashore. Along the way, questions are asked and answered.  “Hey Mr. Choo-Choo what are you doing? Where are you going? What are you seeing? What are you pulling? What are you hearing?”  All the answers are told in a sing-song rhythym that sticks with you and you may just find yourself reciting next time you see a train go by.

Through the big-big-cities

And the small-small-towns,

Got to go-go-go–

No time to slow down!

The illustrations are just as wonderful as the story. Bright, colorful images with lots of detail fill the pages and invite young readers to hop on the train and travel along the tracks!

Hello, Freight Train

(Marjorie Blain Parker)

Here comes a flat car, 

a hopper car, a rack car.

Here comes a boxcar,

and a big piggyback car…

This is a perfect book for beginning readers and for young engineers-in-training. The text is simple and clean.  The illustrations are colorful and  just plain, sweet. The story is told in rhyme which makes it not only fun to hear, but also makes reading easy for early readers.

The Goodnight Train

(June Sobel)

All aboard! The sun is down. The Goodnight Train is leaving town.  

Find your sleepers! Grab your teddy. Climb right up! Your bed is ready. 

This is a pretty popular train book and another favorite in our house.  It serves not only as a good story, but a great bedtime read as well.  My boys love the illustrations- the beds on wheels, the cookie car and the sleeping baby in a crib on the last page fascinates them both.  The train sounds on each page are a wonderful addition to the soothing nature of the book. While playing trains, I often hear my boys repeating these lines as they chug along their wooden tracks, “Huff-a-puff-a! Huff-a-puff-a! Choooooooo! Chooooooo!”

Two Little Trains

(Margaret Wise Brown)

Who doesn’t love Margaret Wise Brown?? She has created some of the most wonderful children’s books out there- The Important Book, Goodnight Big Red Barn, Runaway Bunny, Goodnight Moon. I could go on, but instead I will simply add this one to our list of favorite train books.  We were at the bookstore the other day and came upon this title.  It is a simple story of two trains heading west- a real passenger train and a child’s toy train. Both have the same experiences, but in two different worlds. As the real train goes through a tunnel, the child’s train goes through a tunnel made from an open book. As the real train travels through a rainstorm, the child’s train travels beneath the running shower. Finally, both trains reach their destination in the west- one at the ocean shore and the other at the foot of the child’s bed.  This one is on my list of “must purchase,” but until then we will be back at that same bookstore to visit it again.

Train Music

We sing a lot in my house. I think it drives my husband a little batty. But to me and now my boys, singing is as natural as breathing!  Here are some our favorite train songs.

All Aboard!


This is by far the best collection of train songs we have come across. We were lucky enough to take Kindermusik classes when we were back in the States and this is just one of great things that came out of those classes.

Note: You can buy single songs or the album at  Kindermusik

Other Titles:

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8 thoughts on “Book Mama: Chugga, Chugga, READ! Books About Trains

  1. Pingback: Boy Mama Teacher Mama: The ABCs of Raising Boys - Boy Mama Teacher Mama

  2. A few months back I bought “Chugga Chugga Choo Choo” by Kevin Lewis for Aarya (son); he loved it, carried it everywhere… and that one is by far my favorite train book too 🙂 Aarya is still hooked to trains and generally everything that goes 🙂 Thanks for this wonderful list 🙂

  3. The Little Red Caboose is a great story also! My boys enjoy reading it all the time. Thanks for the list of other train books, will have to look for them at the library!

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