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Reading Railroad: Our Top 10 Favorite Children’s Books About Trains

Stylized graphic of train tracks in a sinusoidal pattern with a stack of books symbolizing learning or knowledge in railway systems

As part of an ongoing series about our favorite books about trains, we knew we couldn’t leave out our littlest train fans! From freight trains to passenger trains to light rails, kids across the country are often enamored with the trains they see come through their towns. Fortunately for these youngest rail enthusiasts, there are plenty of books around for them to read with their favorite grown up, or on their own when they are a little older. Climb aboard while we share our favorite Children’s Train Books with you. Odds are, at least a couple of these will be familiar to you, but we hope you find some new inspiration here too!

1. Would a list of children’s books about trains be complete if it didn’t include the classic Watty Piper tale, The Little Engine That Could? As much a story about not giving up when things are tough as it is about trains, this one deserves a home on every little person’s bookshelf!

Illustration of 'The Little Engine that Could' book cover showcasing determination and motivation2. Our favorite cool cat is back in Pete the Cat’s Train Trip. Looking forward to a trip to Grandma’s house by train, this Pete adventure would be an excellent read before a kid’s first train trip!

pete the cat image

3.  How Trains Work  from Lonely Planet Kids is a fun, fact-filled book about the magic of railroads across the globe. With beautiful illustrations, it gets bonus points for including some flipouts for even more hidden facts!

how trains work image4. Is onomatopoeia your thing? If so, Trucker and Train  might just be your jam! In addition to being replete with all the fun sound words you could hope for, it is also a tale of kindness triumphing over bullying, which is something we can all get behind!

trucker and train image5. A Christmas classic that tugs at the heartstrings, The Polar Express  is a reminder of the importance of believing in magic. We don’t know about you, but we still hear the bell ring!

The Polar Express image6. Historical facts and captivating illustrations make up Steam, Smoke, and Steel: Back in Time with Trains . Readers will be transported to the early 19th century, and make their way to the present as they learn about the innovation and progress of railroads.

Steam,Smoke and Steel image7. From acclaimed author, Margaret Wise Brown, we have Two Little Trains . An easy, repetitive read for the littlest ones, this one juxtaposes a real train and a toy train both heading west.

Two Little Trains image8. In Locomotive, we climb aboard for a trip on the transcontinental railroad with a fully in-depth look at the people, places, and things that made those infamous passenger train journeys possible!

Locomotive image

9. Is your elementary-aged kid looking for a magical adventure? The Silver Arrow  is their ticket to such, but with a dash of ecological preservation and saving animals too.

The Silver Arrow image

10. First in its series, The Train to Impossible Places  is another fantastical, elementary age appropriate story that will take readers on a train trip to the bottoms of the oceans and to the heights of outer space!

The Train to Impossible Places image

What do you think of our list of children’s books about trains? Did we miss any? Either way, jump in the comments and let us know what your, and your kiddos, favorites are!


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