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Two Little Trains

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  465 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
Puff, Puff, Puff

Chug, Chug, Chug

Two little trains are heading West. One is a shiny, streamlined train, moving fast. The other is a little old train, moving not so fast. Both will travel through long dark tunnels, through snow and dust. What else can they have in common? Much more than you think!
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 23rd 2003 by HarperCollins (first published 1949)
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Jun 20, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
This is a re-illustrated version of a largely forgotten Margaret Wise Brown book. If you google you can find one or two of the original images floating around, if you're curious.

In THIS version, the second little train (as you can see on the cover) is a toy train. The writing is simply repetitive, just right for little children, and the connection between what the real train is doing and what the toy train is doing is sweet and imaginative.

Two things bugged me, one very minor and one a little mo
Jun 15, 2016 Janet rated it it was amazing
What a gem with Margaret Wise Brown as the text author and Leo and Diane Dillon as the illustrators. Loved the illustration concept of on the left side of the double page spread is the sleek train heading west and on the right hand side is the depiction that a young child is playing with their train and the same things are occurring to both trains.
It was a delight to find this title as I straightened library book shelves yesterday after a busy summer reading day.
Rosa Cline
Dec 11, 2016 Rosa Cline rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, 2016
If you have a train fanatic in your household, (or just enjoy them) you must own or at least read this book. It was a very nice train book! It's a basic text so beginning readers could learn to read by it, many lines was repeatative so it wouldn't take a beginning reader long to earn self confedince in it.

The illustrations are great, one page the left side is scenes about a streamline train with 'realistic' scenes and the right page is of a 'little old train' which is a toy train. As the text d
Feb 16, 2017 Shannon rated it really liked it
A cute and imaginative comparison between the travels of a real-life train heading west and a toy train traveling through the house until it finds its child.
Inhabiting Books
This is a poem of two little trains, a "streamlined train" and a "little old train", "going west."

The marvelous illustrations transform this rather dull poem into a story, and tell the story pictorially far better than the text does.

The pictures tell the story of two trains, one a sleek passenger train, the other a toy train. The movement of the real train is echoed in the imaginary scenarios featuring the toy train being played with at home. For example, when the "two little trains [come] to a
Sarah Sammis
Mar 23, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it it was amazing
According to the Boolynite review, the 1949 version of Two Little Trains by Margaret Wise Brown had a boy driven train (streamlined and blue) and a girl driven train (smaller and pink). For the 2003 re-issue, new artwork was commissioned.

Although the artwork is new it is done in a retro style reminiscent of the late 1940s. The streamlined train depicted is the short of engine you'd see pulling trains across the country back then. The toy train is a clearly a wooden toy which in itself is timeles
Apr 07, 2008 Laura rated it liked it
Brown’s simple poem about trains traveling west is beautifully re-illustrated by the Dillons, who show the parallels between the two trains on a the recto and verso pages: one a silver bullet train zooming through the countryside, the other tiny toy train chugging through a quiet house. The poem’s rhythm is a bit awkward in places but overall reflects the chug-a-chug rhythm of a train hurtling down the tracks. This book is suitable primarily for preschoolers and kindergarteners, who will have fu ...more
Erin Buhr
May 14, 2013 Erin Buhr rated it really liked it
Margaret Wise Brown is better known for GOODNIGHT MOON, but of her many books this is my favorite. TWO LITTLE TRAINS describes two parallel train trips. One is a shiny silver train traversing the country to the west coast. The second is a child's wooden train chuffing around a home. Both author and illustrators demonstrate a deep appreciation for train travel, but especially capture a child's imagination and love of trains. Brown captures the feeling of train travel in the rhythmic and varied la ...more
Drew Graham
May 03, 2016 Drew Graham rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids
Two little trains (one bigger than the other) travel on their way, over mountains and through tunnels, until they reach their destination in the west.

We love a train book, and this one, by the author of the beloved Goodnight Moon has a lot of the same gentle wordplay and rhythm she is known for in her other books. I don't have much negative to say about this book, but I also don't have much to say in general. Our train-lover (2.75) enjoyed it a few times, but he doesn't reach for it every night
Andrew Stockle
“Two Little Trains” is a story about “two little trains”. Half of the book depicts a real train, and the other half depicts a toy train though the narrative of the book describes them both the same. Both trains take a journey west through mountains, rivers, and tunnels or stairs, tubs, and books until they at last reach the west. This book has fantastic scenery, it is very detailed, the text is at the bottom of every page framed by white space. The book itself is wide which invites the reader to ...more
Ashlyn Hunt
Mar 27, 2013 Ashlyn Hunt rated it really liked it

My toddler loves, loves anything trains. He also possesses a deep affinity for train books. As a parent, I make a noble effort to introduce him to train stories that veer away from Thomas and Friends - books that are more creative and meaningful. One such book we uncovered is Two Little Trains. The illustrations are artistic and lifelike. And the story itself is completely synonymous with a little boy's imagination. From the author of Goodnight Moon (a beloved classic), it's no wonder this story
This book was originally written in 1949 by Margaret Wise Brown and re-illustrated in 2001 by Leo & Diane Dillon. My son loved the story of the two trains, one old and slow, the other shiny and fast. They are traveling west and go up hills, through mountains and over river bridges before getting to their destination. The book is cool in that all the destinations are in the imagination of the little boy that has these two toy trains, so when the train is going over the river bridge, it’s real ...more
Jun 26, 2014 Romelle rated it really liked it
I like how this story follows two trains travelling West which is compared to each other on opposing pages. One train is a real train, the other is as seen through the eyes of a child. The child will enjoy the adventure the train takes them on.

Margaret Wise Brown uses poetry techniques to make this classic book a great read-aloud. She uses lots of repetition and rhythm, which makes it sing-songy.

A great book for the young train enthusiast.
Sep 14, 2012 Fjóla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of trains, 3 - 6 year olds
This is a new rendering of this rather obscure story by Margaret Wise Brown. The new illustrations tell most of the story, and while breathing something of a classic feel, make the story more modern and - I suspect - drastically better. I myself loved it, and the juxtaposition of the two trains really tickled my son's imagination. Absolutely delightful!
Aug 20, 2014 Ina rated it really liked it
Shelves: storytime-reads
Two little trains, one old and one streamlined, head west…in a wildly imaginative trip a two toy train goes over bridges spanning vast lakes, over mountains and through tunnels, just like it's real train companion. The lovely illustrations in muted colors show snatches of common household locations that become track, mountain and lake and parallel the real train's journey. My story time audience loved this one.
Jul 19, 2008 Ebookwormy1 rated it really liked it
This lyrical text combined with beautiful illustrations is a hit with my little guy. Not-I-think-we-should-own-it-incredible, but a solid library multiple check out.

Sept 2008: Now that we are more than half way through the recommended reading list on trains and have little to inspire, this book is looking stronger with every check out. Maybe it will go into the ownership catagory after all? We'll see.
Alicia Scully
Jan 04, 2012 Alicia Scully rated it really liked it
The book follows two trains, one steamlined train and one wooden toy train. The trains go on parallel adventures all across the country as they venture ever west in a very satisfying read. The text has an obvious rhythm that follows the "chuga-chuga" sounds associated with trains to better entertain the reader. I found the book to be well done and I can easily see why it has continued to be published for years. Not my favorite though.
Louise (A Strong Belief in Wicker)
One of Margaret Wise Brown's lesser known works. The two little trains of the title are actually one real train on a long journey westward, and a small toy train on a journey around a house. The story is from 1949, but in the copy I read the illustrations were from 2001- although they certainly captured a mid-20th century feel with the illustrations. I really like the comparison of the two trains, but the story as such didn't work that well for me.
Not my favorite Margaret Wise Brown book, but not bad; I just didn't like the resolution of the story shown through the artwork. It looks like both trains will reach a similar destination at the end, but they don't. Why don't they? Maybe it's a good discussion point with young children, but they may not "get it" either.
Emerson and Theodore
Jun 20, 2012 Emerson and Theodore rated it it was ok
Shelves: library-books
This story line is cumbersome and the words do not flow. It is difficult to read aloud. Cute concept of 2 different trains--one real going through the country and the other a toy train tackling the same obstacles (river=bath tub, hills=blankets, etc.) but it just doesn't work well.
Emerson likes the pictures none the less.
Jan 26, 2012 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Absolutely wonderful! Not as well known as Goodnight Moon or Runaway Bunny, which makes it a good baby gift - the chances are pretty good that the parents won't already have received a copy.

The two little trains in question are a real train and a toy train. The text has the same soothing lilt to it that Brown's other books have, and the illustrations are beautiful.
Dec 18, 2008 Annette rated it it was amazing
We absolutely loved the parallel of the small toy train and the large steamer. The boys squealed with joy over the toy train going over the river (bathtub) and through the rain (shower). Love the imagination!
Jun 24, 2013 Betsy rated it really liked it
One of the few Dillon-illustrated picture books that's for very young children. In this, they update Margaret Wise Brown's simple text with great imagination: one real train and one toy train on similar journeys. At the end, we're left to wonder... did that little toy train travel all by itself?
Katie Casey
Jul 18, 2014 Katie Casey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-kids
2 trains go through a parallel journey - the illustrations show 1 going through real mountains while the toy train goes up a stair rail, the real train going through rain while the toy train goes through the shower. Captures the imagination!
Dec 06, 2011 Alisa rated it really liked it
I LOVE Goodnight Moon, so got this book since it was by the same author. My little three year old loves it and it is fun to read, but I didn't quite like it as much as goodnight moon. But, it is fun to see the trains go into the west.
May 12, 2016 Jess rated it liked it
May 2016 - Ben still demands every train book we can find at the library and chose this one to take home. A real (retro) train and a toy train have parallel journeys, and the text is more rhythmic and less forced than similar, relatively plot-less train books.
Dec 07, 2011 Evan rated it it was amazing
We absolutely loved the parallel of the small toy train and the large steamer. The boys squealed with joy over the toy train going over the river (bathtub) and through the rain (shower). Love the imagination!
Sep 03, 2008 Peggy rated it really liked it
Of course anything by Margaret Wise Brown is wonderful, but train lovers will especially appreciate this book. The big stream lined train and the little toy wooden train are both heading west on a trip to the ocean. Lovely illustrations.
Ages 3-6. The story encourages imagination and play. A toy train is depicted doing what a real train does and is accompanied by a repetitive poem. Phonological awareness and playing are emphasized through this story.
Wooden Horse
The thing I liked best about this book was the juxtaposition of the "real life" stream line train and the "toy" freight train. Each journeys west through hills, along streams, and into the night puff puff puffing or chug chug chugging along.
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Margaret Wise Brown wrote hundreds of books and stories during her life, but she is best known for Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Even though she died nearly 60 years ago, her books still sell very well.

Margaret loved animals. Most of her books have animals as characters in the story. She liked to write books that had a rhythm to them. Sometimes she would put a hard word into the story or p
More about Margaret Wise Brown...

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