cover image I Like Trains

I Like Trains

Daisy Hirst. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1276-1

With sturdy artwork and reportorial language, Hirst (Hamish Takes the Train) celebrates a young train enthusiast in a story that foregrounds experiences over engineering. The narrator—a tangerine-colored dog with a big snout, a wide smile, and a tail like a flag—kneels next to a train set laid out on the floor. “I like playing with my train,” the pup says, pushing a red engine over a bridge. And there are lots of ways to do so: the hound loads animals into cars, makes a train out of cardboard boxes, and dons a bright blue conductor’s cap. The pup’s family has plenty of books about the topic, too (spot art is helpfully categorized: “long trains/ short trains/ trains with faces/ fast trains/ slow trains/ trains in races”), but the best thing, the young hound says, is “when we go to the station to catch the train ourselves.” All the high points of the journey are captured (“darkness in a tunnel,/ and another train/ whooshing by”), and so is the characters’ surprise destination. Youngest readers will warm to having their special interest recognized in a volume that keys into a kid’s deeply held passion. Ages 2–5. [em](Mar.) [/em]