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The Caboose Who Got Loose
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The Caboose Who Got Loose

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  1,004 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews
Katy Caboose is tired of being last, and one day a freak accident allows her to realize her dream of peace and solitude.
Paperback, 48 pages
Published February 19th 1980 by HMH Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1971)
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The Little Engine That Could by Watty PiperThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgFreight Train by Donald CrewsThe Little Red Caboose by Marian PotterTrains by Byron Barton
Picture Books about Trains
12th out of 129 books — 51 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakHarold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett JohnsonThe Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric CarleCars and Trucks and Things That Go by Richard ScarryAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Greatest little boy books ... ages 2 - 6
56th out of 318 books — 122 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Jul 20, 2008 booklady rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: train lovers
My oldest daughter loved trains when she was little; one of her first words was 'choo choo'. She received this book from her paternal grandparents as a Christmas gift when she was three and I read it to her so many times she had it memorized. I'm not saying it's for everyone or that it's great literature, but if you have any die-hard train fans out there--especially if they are little girls--this might be the book for them. It's about a little caboose named Katy and she has a hankering to be fre ...more
I’ve been fascinated by Bill Peet ever since I read his autobiography for the Caldecott Challenge. I knew he wrote some children’s books, but had no idea that he did so many (34 total). His work reminded me a lot of Dr Seuss, with the crazy rhymes for the book. I guess you have to get pretty creative when working with the word “caboose”. He worked for Walt Disney and you can definitely see the influence in the way he draws houses and even Katy Caboose, from his work on the animated shorts “Susie ...more
Feb 24, 2010 Ronyell rated it really liked it
Shelves: bill-peet
“The Caboose Who Got Loose” is a great story from the creative mind of Bill Peet about a small caboose named Katy who wants to escape her life as a caboose and live happily in a peaceful place. “The Caboose Who Got Loose” may be a bit tedious for some children, but it is still a cute little story nonetheless.

Bill Peet’s story about a caboose who wants to live a peaceful life in the countryside is a great tale for many children. Children will feel for Katy’s sadness at being a mere caboose and n
Jul 13, 2011 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
I loved this book as a child. It was one my grandmother kept at her house and read to me often when I visited. It was a thoroughly appealing story with a lot of action and an adventurous sense of excitement.

Now, though, I find myself feeling a touch awkward about the clear subtext that Katy's daydreaming about a different life and aspiring to get a better view that the one from the end of the train is subversive and fraught with danger. Good little cabooses would never be so foolish.

I know that
May 09, 2012 Desiree rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
My 3 and a half year old really seemed to like the book. He was enthralled with everything but the ending. He couldn't understand why the caboose would want to stay in a pair of evergreen trees?
Patty Barr
Mar 03, 2011 Patty Barr rated it really liked it
I love Bill Peet books - the rhyming, the illustrations, the message. This poor caboose dreams of living a quiet life, and his wish comes true.
Jul 12, 2009 Sean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
Good read...that is ok to read over and over and over is proven every night so far this month.
Jan 01, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This is such a cute little book! Any child who likes trains will like it. My little man loves this book, and it's even more special because we have the copy that his daddy had as a child.
Nicole Fiene
Mar 08, 2015 Nicole Fiene rated it liked it
The Caboose Who Got Loose written and illustrated by Bill Peet tells the tale of a caboose who wishes she could be anything but the tail end of a train. The book travels along with Katy Caboose as she is pulled down the train tracks, through the countryside in a plume of black smoke. The first thing I noticed as I read through the book was the bright illustrations. The illustrations seem to be done in charcoal or crayon, and mostly everything in each illustration carries bright colors except for ...more
Apr 25, 2012 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, rhyming, 2012
We discovered Bill Peet's books about 6 months ago and have been steadily borrowing his books from our local library since. We've really liked the different stories and want to read more of his stories.

This is a long, but entertaining story about an anthropomorphic caboose who wishes to settle down and rest. The rhyming narrative is dramatic, made even more so by the music and sound effects as well as by Josefina Bosch who reads this book on the accompanying CD we got with the book as part of a
May 29, 2012 Fjóla rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 5 - 8 year olds, fans of classic train stories
What a quaint little old book that my son dug out of the shelves at the library. Now, that he'd like a story about a little red caboose was not going to surprise me (caboose was among the first words he ever learned, and his favorite color red), but there's a lot more to this book than I was initially expecting.

First of all, Bill Peet is an author/illustrator/animator (for Disney) with an extensive output. And the colored pencil illustrations in this book are immensely satisfying and charming.
Paul Hardin
Jun 28, 2013 Paul Hardin rated it it was ok
I particularly enjoy reading about trains and how different parts of trains would feel and be if they were something else. This rhyme book is no different, it is about the Caboose of a train and how she struggles in dealing with just being a caboose. She wants desperately to be the lead locomotive and lead the train through the country. One day she breaks free from the rest of the train and goes on a little adventure.
I enjoyed this book because it is about trains and also because it has a great
This beautifully illustrated story is of a scared and unhappy little caboose (Katy) told in rhyme. Katy hates her jolting, noisy, smoke filled existence and longs to be settled somewhere peaceful and quiet. She finds her rides behind freight trains very frightening. Until one day, she is accidentally dislodged from her train and runs off the tracks landing wedged between two spruce trees where she lives happily ever after with the squirrels and the birds.

The story is fun to read aloud because o
May 28, 2015 Relyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers & parents
Recommended to Relyn by: I saw it while browsing GoodReads
Shelves: lawsonland
I try to read a story to my class each morning in addition to our regular afternoon read aloud. Some days we have time. Some days we don't. This book has adorable illustrations by the author. The book feels a lot like The Little House
Having said all that, this book is just a sweet story. The kids and I pulled the lesson out of it. The book never feels cloying or preachy. Love it!
Feb 13, 2013 Joe rated it liked it
My kids thought this was okay a long time ago, and now my grandson likes it, too. But what a strange story. Me, I love Bill Peet's drawing style, the bright colors combined with a lurking dark side. He can personify a railroad car - or a house or a barn - with a recognizable emotion. I can relate to a caboose who hates his role in life as a follower bringing up the rear of an indifferent train, wishing to be free. I cheer for his escape. What I can't quite accept in this silly story is the outco ...more
Kerry (The Roaming Librarian)
Such a cute little story about a Caboose named Katie who doesn't enjoy riding around on the back of the train. It's too smoky and too scary and she spends most of her trips alone and afraid. The illustrations (which seem to be pencil, so far as I can tell) are innocent and sweet, with some great detailing in the backgrounds and the trains. Katy the Caboose appears young and child-like, and I enjoyed how she tried to change her outlook on riding the rails. What I enjoyed the most about this story ...more
Sep 06, 2016 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
This book is amazing! The words become three dimensional in rhyme. The illustrations are masterful. The message of appreciating what you have is so important. My kids and I LOVED this book. Bill Peet was such an awesome talent! How anyone can rate this less than 5 stars is beyond me. Literary perfection.
Oct 22, 2015 Dawn rated it it was amazing
A great story of a caboose who is forced to live life in the fast lane when what she really wants is to enjoy peace and solitude with a good view. We talked about how some people like to be out and busy and with people all the time and how some people prefer time alone. One of my wise students reminded us that most people need a little bit of both.

You simply can't go wrong with Bill Peet. This book is in prose and some of the words/phrases were a little tricky for my class, but it was a good way
Jul 11, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
I'm making up for lost time with Bill Peet. Even though his career as a children's book author and illustrator was in its prime in the 1960s and 70s, he never entered my radar in my own childhood or my son's.

Luckily, we know him now, and his books have quickly become favorites of my daughter's. Bill Peet was not only an excellent illustrator, his stories possess something that many children's books lack today: good old common sense coupled with compelling story-telling.

This particular story is
Jun 04, 2013 Alice rated it really liked it
I like this book, but that draw back it that is has lots of words. Bill Peet books tend to do that. Having said that, I like the story. It is funny we always think the grass is greener on the other side, when sometimes it just isn't. The caboose is the last of the train, which mean he gets all the smoke and ignore by the rest of the train, but, he gets the best view of the country side. So, this book was good, great for kids who love trains, nice pictures...over all a good one. Bill Peet hasn't ...more
Jun 05, 2008 Maria rated it it was ok
I loved Bill Peet as a child. I never had very many of his books because I read most of them at my school's library. Of the ones I read, this one was not my favorite. It's an innocuous story about a caboose who wants more. I think pretty much every element has been done before and done better. Then again, I worry that my perception changes based on the order that I read things. This book is probably interchangeable with The Little House but I reviewed that one more favorably because I reviewed i ...more
Aug 05, 2015 Sarah rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
Trains & rhyming are my 3-year-old's favorite things in stories right now, and I love that this isn't just another Thomas book, so we're both pretty happy about this one.

Usually he doesn't like new stories at bedtime, but after a first read-through earlier in the evening, he was pretty adamant about reading this one again at bedtime. There are plenty of interruptions with this one because he has lots of questions about Katy Caboose and her richly drawn world.
Jul 19, 2014 Tam rated it really liked it
When my 4-year-old picked this book at the library, I didn't think he'd really like it because he's not into trains at all. He ended up loving it and so did I! It's a rhyming book which is always fun. Katy Caboose didn't like what she was but a shack told her "A caboose is what I've always wanted to be, for you have the best life from what I can see." Katy then decided, "I shall never complain. I'll be a happy caboose at the end of a train."
The Brothers
Jan 21, 2016 The Brothers rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contentment, trains
Another great rhyming story from Bill Peet. Katy Caboose doesn't like her lot in life at the end of the train. She's much rather be where it's peaceful, quite, and has a good view. But, as she learns in the freight yard, her life isn't all that bad. And in the end, Katy finds true contentment.

Great, great illustrations.
Margaret Chind
May 20, 2015 Margaret Chind rated it liked it
Recommended to Margaret by: Memoria Press First Grade
My opinion is still out as I only got to hear parts of this one, but I can definitely tell that my K5 daughter loved it as she read it over and over. I'll have to show her the other Bill Pete books we have and order ourselves a copy of this one. As always recommendations by Memoria Press are necessary for our home shelves. Currently a library book.
Nov 10, 2014 Ash rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-and-ya
This was a really cute rhyming story about a little caboose who was very unhappy. She goes past and tells of all the houses she'd rather be, than a caboose stuck in endless black smog.It ends on a bright note with Katy living high in a tree,free at last.
Jan 24, 2015 Shelley rated it really liked it
Shelves: age-2
cute rhyming story about being content with what you have. the lesson wasnt super drawn out and may be missed by little ones if not paying attention. but then the dream came it also is about having a dream.
May 16, 2009 Tricia rated it really liked it
One of the books that is more fun to read the more you read it. Caboose has big dreams of life out from behind the train. Will fate intervene and make these dreams a reality? Adorable illustrations give the caboose a personality all its own.
Beverley Taylor
Jun 03, 2014 Beverley Taylor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Bill Peet is a timeless children's author. His characters are heartwarming and fun for young readers. This particular story is an exciting read for students who need a reminder that they are great just the way they are. I read this to my Pre-K students during our Transportation unit.
Jan 21, 2015 Janae rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-lit
We're big fans of Bill Peet. W wanted this one over and over again - I'm sure because of the train; but it also led to a great discussion about glass half full/half empty, and what we want out of life.
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Bill Peet was an American children's book illustrator and a story writer for Disney Studios. He joined Disney in 1937 and worked on The Jungle Book, Song of the South, Cinderella, One Hundred and One Dalmatians, The Sword in the Stone, Goliath II, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland, Dumbo, Pinocchio, Fantasia, The Three Caballeros, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and other stories.

More about Bill Peet...

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