Down by the Station
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Down by the Station

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  131 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Join Will Hillenbrand's group of mischievous, playful, and sleepy baby animals on their way to the children's zoo. You'd better hurry, though . . . they can't be late to greet the first busload of children!
Paperback, 40 pages
Published October 1st 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published 1999)
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This book takes a children's song and extends it, by having the train go through the zoo, picking up baby animals along the way.
Elements of mystery and danger are added, as well as the pleasure of repetition. My expectations were low going into this; I was very pleasantly surprised.
This was a really fun read and it hits the trifecta of favorite things for my almost-two-year-old: trains, animals, and a (very briefly featured) bus.
I like that you can sing this--something my child always finds appealing--and that the original song has been expanded to include sounds for each zoo animal is picked up by the train. It includes sound effects for animals that you don't typically think of as having "sounds" (the panda says "grump grump," for instance). I also like that it parallel...more
Samantha Penrose
Nov 25, 2008 Samantha Penrose rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: 2-4 year olds
Shelves: kids-books
My three year old absolutely loves books that are sung rather than read...They not only capture his attention, but they are easy for him to commit to memory. This book includes some cumulative text which is simple to read, but provides a good mental workout if you have to memorize it!
This book will also school you and your child on some animal baby names...elephant-calf, flamingo-chick, panda-cub, tiger-cub, seal-pup, and kangaroo-joey.
The illustrations have a lot to look at and talk about. It b...more
Nov 03, 2013 Relyn rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: parents and teachers of preschoolers
Recommended to Relyn by: 100 Readers Project
Shelves: lawsonland
A while back I found this really cool project on Youtube. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of their domed reading room, the State Library of Victoria, Australia filmed 100 readers sharing bits of their favorite books. This is the commentary with each video:
Over the past century, our magnificent domed reading room has inspired generations of writers, artists, researchers, students and visitors. More than a remarkable architectural accomplishment, it represents all that we have to offer the worl...more
I really thought this book was cute and great for elementary age students. I thought the picture/illustrations were cute and would catch the eye of the students. The animals that are in there as well would entertain them easily. I also love that it is a song that way the students can sing along as well. You can read through it once and then the second time have them sing along. Great book!
Such a cute book! I already knew the song since I learned it in elementary school but the pictures made the story so much better! I loved seeing all the animals, especially the babies and when they decided to join the train. This would definitely be a fun book to read to a young group of children and have them participate. (:
This lovely illustrated picture book uses the classic children's rhyming song to describe how a train picks up animals and takes them to the zoo in the morning. Sweet and fun.
My son said this book was cute. The lyrics to the kid's song are printed, and you can see various animals being taken away by train and their parents watching them leave. Then they arrive at a zoo of sorts and play with children you see getting off a bus. (One girl is in a wheelchair.)

Although this may not be a wise choice if you are a homeschooler, lol.
Josie B.
Singing naturally breaks words into their smaller parts, helping children with phonological awareness. This is one of my favorite books to sing in storytime. A concept book-- it teaches the name of baby animals- it also has plot and opportunities for children to participate. Pair it with Rod Campbell's Dear Zoo for a zoo theme.
Mhm Storytelling
Description: the story goes to many different depots. Each depot have a different type of transportation and each makes different sounds.

Themes: transportation

Great Features: good pictures

Red flags: not much of a story line

opportunity for interaction: very predictable, kids can make the transportation sound effects
This is by far one of my little boys favorite stories - we have to read it every night - usually a couple times before he will go to sleep. He knows the story by heart and loves the song that goes to it. He is fascinated with "choo-choo's" and always wants this choo-choo story read.
This story combines a familiar tune with a visit to an animal park zoo safari--complete with all the featured animal's sounds. All the sounds are cumulative and repeated at each verse. If time is short just do a few page spreads with your group or your child.
I love books that have (somewhat) hidden treasures: things that you don't catch the first time or two reading the book. This is definitly a darling story! This version was new to me and it is full of cute illustrations that add so much to the words!
Down by the Station was an alright book. Not one of my favorites but it was cute and had a great animal story line. I might use this book as a transition or just as a book in my library, but I doubt I would use it for a lesson.
Kara Roberts
This is a good book for learning repetition of rhymes and animals. This is a very easy read that could be used as a book for students to read on their own.
Best sing-along book ever. The illustrations are adorable, the reworking of the verses never stretch credibility, the twist at the end is satisfying.
The train takes all the baby animals to the children's zoo in this version. Great for transportation or zoo/animal themed storytimes.
Super cute. It helps that one of the little boys pictured at the end has his blue blanket over his head just like my son enjoys doing. :)
May 14, 2008 Tricia rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: music and movement
great story about animals heading to the zoo to meet kids. classic tune. animal noises. fun to read a loud.
This is a fun take on an old rhyme: this time there are various baby animals who join the train as it's in motion!
Great rhythm and great pictures. It's really a song and we love to sing it rather than read it.
Jul 30, 2008 Marie rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Parents/2-5yrs children
Recommended to Marie by: Found it
Shelves: parents-kids
Children's book with song, fun with little animals for small children to point out.
Who doesn't love baby zoo animals? Cute book; read for zoo preschool unit.
Philip Burt
I'm practicing the song, so I can perform (sing) it in story time!
Caitlin Bonde
Cute illustrations. Has a song that goes with it (sing the book).
24 months - Fun song, cute illustrations and visual story.
We love singing a book! Lots of added animal verses!
Grandchild read. Love the singing quality of this book
Fun to sing, great for puppets.
child loves it, 4 years old
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Will Hillenbrand is the illustrator of many children's books, including THIS LITTLE PIGGY, edited by Jane Yolen, and KISS THE COW! by Phyllis Root. He is also the author-illustrator of DOWN BY THE STATION. He lives in Terrace Park, Ohio with his wife, Jane, and their son, Ian.
More about Will Hillenbrand...
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