cover image I Can Make a Train Noise

I Can Make a Train Noise

Michael Emberley and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4496-0

On a chilly afternoon, a white family makes their way into a crowded coffee shop under the train tracks. Their toddler, wowed by a train whooshing by overhead, announces, “I can make a train noise,” then repeats, “I can make a train noise. I can make a train noise,” ending the chant with an emphatic “Now!” The child’s words mimic the chugga-chugga rhythm of the train, and they conjure up magic as the café’s customers are swept away on a fantasy journey down the tracks. The chant continues straight through, varying in volume and velocity as the child pilots the train through scenery that, In the Night Kitchen–style, includes cookery and restaurant mainstays, such as ketchup and mustard bottles. Everyone is returned to the cozy café transformed, as Emberley (Baby’s Firsts) and Fitzpatrick (Owl Bat Bat Owl) show in thought bubbles that picture how the passengers’ moods have lifted. The creators celebrate the power of children to live in many worlds at once—and, at the same time, the power of trains to make journeys communal. Ages 4–6. Agents: (for Emberley) Rick Richter, Aevitas Creative Management; (for Fitzpatrick) Eunice McMullen. (July)

The text of this review has been updated for clarity.