cover image How to Train a Train

How to Train a Train

Jason Carter Eaton, illus. by John Rocco. Candlewick, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6307-0

Styled as a get-to-know-your-pet guide, this manual teaches “everything you need to know to choose, track, and train your very own pet train.” Intricately detailed, digitally colored graphite illustrations picture boys and girls selecting between vintage iron horses and sleek diesel designs. Rocco (Blackout) styles the trains’ headlamps and windshields as friendly eyes and contrasts the engines’ bulk against their tiny doting masters. Wearing a pith helmet and desert gear, a boy narrator lures a steam train with lumps of coal and a “Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga!” He knows he’s in luck when he hears an answering “Choo-choo!” Eaton (The Day My Runny Nose Ran Away) recommends train names from the ordinary to the hilarious (Nathan, Smokey, and Captain Foofamaloo) and suggests activities and tricks. “How will you know if the train you caught is the one? Don’t worry. You’ll know,” he writes, as a girl in red braids walks slowly along, whistling innocently, as a giant engine peers over a hill. An immersive experience for junior rail fans. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Victoria Sanders & Associates. Illustrator’s agent: Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Sept.)