Independent reading is the next stop ahead with these recent and wonderful picture books about everything locomotive.
Written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper. $10.86.
Elisha Cooper has a unique talent for capturing the same small, just-right details about landscapes and settings that kids notice, too. (Farm and Beach are some of our favorites for using in writing workshop.) Here, he illuminates different types of trains and journeys across the United States with the same thoughtfulness and childlike wonder. Best for grades PreK-2.
- How to Train a Train
Written by Jason Carter Eaton, illustrated by John Rocco. $12.60.
This playful picture book takes up the conceit of train-as-pet, with helpful instructions and information for would-be owners, such as “few trains can resist a good read-aloud.” We can see it inspiring some lively writing assignments as students practice figurative language and how-to writing. Best for grades PreK-2.
- Line 135
Written by Germano Zullo, illustrated by Albertine. $15.40.
We’re obsessed with the amazing illustrations in this story about a little girl going to visit her grandmother. They’re completely rendered in black-and-white, with the exception of the neon train shooting across the horizon. The simple and poetic text adds to the quiet beauty of this tale. Best for grades K-3.
- Steam Train, Dream Train
Written by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. $10.61.
While we don’t normally recommend “going-to-bed” books here on the WeAreTeachers Book Club, the imaginative illustrations and catchy rhymes make this one work for the classroom, too. Sentences like “Through the darkness, clickety-clack…/ coming closer, down the track/hold your breath so you can hear/huffing, chuffing drawing near” offer opportunities to discuss onomatopoeia and more. Best for grades PreK-2.
Written and illustrated by Brian Floca. $12.95.
Introduce students to the history of our national railroad system with this expressive, visual book that brings to life the sheer feat of building and traveling on the Transcontinental Railroad during the summer of 1869. Perfect for U.S. or Western history units!Best for grades 1-4.