cover image The Littlest Train

The Littlest Train

Chris Gall. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-39286-0

Having gone big in Dinotrux and microscopic in NanoBots, Gall does a bit of both, sending a tiny train on an enormous adventure. After being accidentally knocked off a tabletop town of crisscrossing wooden tracks (“It was the only neighborhood he had ever known”), the train travels through a mouse hole “tunnel” to the outside world and meets life-size trains of all kinds, including a steam locomotive, cog railway engine, rotary snowplow train, and commuter train. Gall lightly anthropomorphizes the trains, giving them bright eyes, friendly grins, and names such as Mighty Max and Chloe Cogs. Working together, the toy train’s new friends deliver him back where he belongs: “At one hundred and fifty miles per hour, we’ll get you home lightning quick,” boasts Sara Speedster, a bullet train. Boldly colored and textured with crisp, engravinglike lines, Gall’s epic panoramas highlight the grand scale of the train’s journey through hilly green farmland and craggy golden canyons. Train fans getting ready to graduate from Thomas the Tank Engine will enjoy getting to know a new crew in this feast for the imagination. Ages 4–8. [em]Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary Studio. (Sept.) [/em]