by Jason Carter Eaton; illus. by John Rocco
40 pages; ages 4-8
theme: pets, imagination
"So you want a pet train? ... Trains make awesome pets - they're fun, playful, and extremely useful." And this book has everything you need to know to choose - and train - the right train for you.
There are suggestions for names for your new pet, advice on bathing it and helping it settle into its new home, and tips on taking it for a walk. There are also some cautions, such as training it to wipe its wheels before running through the kitchen. And there's a must-read note for readers at the back for those wondering about paperwork and the application of local pet ordinances.
Beyond the book: Build a train. All you need are some boxes and glue and markers and maybe a few paper plates. Need ideas? Check here.
Go train-watching. If you have tracks, and a regular train that goes by, go watch it. Count how many engines are pulling, and how many cars it has. Note what kind of cars it's pulling: containers, oil, flatbeds, coal... If there's a train station nearby, even better - you can observe many trains.
Where do trains go? Check out the route schedules and maps at Amtrak. Learn how to read a timetable. Map tracks around your town.
Hike an abandoned route. Many towns are turning old rails into trails. Take a walk or ride a bike down a rail-trail to get a feel for where the old trains used to go.
Today's review is part of PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture Books. Review copy provided by publisher.