#492 – Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

steam train dream train.

Steam Train, Dream Train

by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld, illustrator

Chronicle Books   4/16/2013top 10 use eb trans


Age 3 to 5   40 pages


Inside Jacket

“The dream train pulls into the station. One by one the train cars are loaded—polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises load the autorack with race cars, kangaroos fill the hopper cars with balls. Sweet (and silly) dreams are guaranteed for every train enthusiast!”


“Through the darkness, clickety-clack . . . coming closer, down the track . . . hold your breath so you can hear huffing, chuffing drawing near.”


Steam Train, Dream Train, created by the New York Times Bestselling team behind Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, is destined to take this dream team to number one once more. Late at night, far off down the train track, a faint light approaches. It is the steamy dream train coming in to the train station to change loads. The dark purplish-blue sky is the perfect background for the light of the train and its wafting smoke.


The dream train pulls into the station and lets out a sharp whistle to those waiting on the platform. The elephant, giraffe, polar bear, penguin, monkeys, and kangaroo with a Joey wave at the lion conductor, who waves back. No sooner than the train completely stops, the crew goes to work filling up the train compartments. The monkeys swing into action. The kangaroos hop on pogo sticks up a ramp, followed by a camel with all manner of toys on its back.

The illustrations give the book a dark tone, perfect for bedtime. The graininess adds to the darkness, giving off the feeling of mid-morning, when most of the world is asleep. The full moon splashes light upon the scenes. While the child sleeps all manner of activity is happening at the train station.


The test nicely rhymes with a singsong that will lull your child to sleep, letting him or her dream of their own steaming dream train filled with amusing animals to amaze and delight children and parents.

“Tankers, lined up in a row,

are getting filled with paints to go.

Purple, yellow, green, and blue:

a color convoy, coming through.”

Steam Train, Dream Train has the imagination to entertain a station full of kids. Scene upon scene produce a smile. I love the freezing cold reefer car that is perfect for the polar bear and penguin, who take a short break atop the ice blocks. The angelic monkey, asleep holding his purple stuffed-monkey is adorable. He and all the others, now in bed, are watched over by the giraffe, who rides lookout in the red caboose.


Young and old children will love Steam Train, Dream Train. The text perfectly rhymes you to sleep—which is a compliment—while the illustrations fill your head with sweet with dreams. This is an ideal bedtime story and destined to become a classic. Near the end, there is an illustration of the entire train, completely full and running down the track to its next destination.

“Steam train, dream train . . .

chhhhhh . . . goodnight.”

Steam Train, Dream Train will be loved by train enthusiasts, if they can get a copy out of a child’s loving hands. I adore Steam Train, Dream Train from cover-to-cover (no pun intended). Debut #1 New York Times Best-Seller!


Find out more about Steam Train, Dream Train HERE!

Purchase Steam Train, Dream Train at AmazonB&NChronicle Booksand at your local bookstore.


Learn more about the author, Sherri Duskey Rinker:    website    blog    facebook    twitter

Learn more about iconic illustrator, Tom Lichtenheld:    website    blog    facebook    twitter

Explore more wonderful books at Chronicle Books:    website    blog    facebook    twitter


STEAM TRAIN, DREAM TRAIN. Text copyright © 2013 by Sherri Duskey Rinker. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by Tom Lichtenheld. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, CA.


Also by the team of  Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site



steam dream train disc


9 thoughts on “#492 – Steam Train, Dream Train by Sherri Duskey Rinker & Tom Lichtenheld

    • You are right, it is AWESOME. The illustrations are fantastic! Hey, I just saw a post of you as the first kid poet. The video was hard to hear, but what I could was also great. I love the Poem poem you recited on the video. Was so glad there was the ppost with it written out. I might repost that one of these days.


  1. What a beautiful book for little ones at bedtime with rhymes that lull and charming illustrations! Great review, Sue!


    • I can double check but I don’t think there were any dogs on this train. I bet more trains chug down that dream track. Maybe one of those is the Milkbone Express. 🙂


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