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The Goodnight Train

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  949 ratings  ·  72 reviews
All aboard for Dreamland! Hold on to your pillow because the Goodnight Train is taking off. Roll that corner, rock that curve, and soar past mermaids, leaping sheep, and even ice-cream clouds. You won't want to miss a thing, so whatever you do, don't . . . close . . . your . . . eyes! 
With soothing, lyrical words and magical illustrations, June Sobel and Laura
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2006 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Showing 1-30
4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  949 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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Jul 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
This one was a fun one for us. My 5 yr old wasn't as interested, but my preschoolers loved it. Besides the adorable illustrations and the fact it was about a train, it was also nice to see a different sort of idea about the goodnight train. The cars were made up of beds and other items needed before going to sleep. (ie beds, bathtubs, toothbrushes, etc.) It made for a fun story that was easy and entertaining to follow along with. The rhyming made it fun for me to read out loud. Probably a book b ...more
Sep 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I randomly picked this up at the library and it is probably one of my favorite children's books ever. The illustrations are beautiful, whimsical, and engaging. The story is unique and just super cute. I love it so much that I'm reviewing it--and I've never reviewed a children's book before. That's mostly because I think adding a bunch of children's books to your "read" shelf is just a cheap way of increasing the number of books on said shelf, but this one is good enough I can have one cheapy, ri ...more

First sentence: The Goodnight Train gets set to roll. It's being shined and filled with coal. Wash the cars off with a hose. Scrub the engine's dirty nose. Scrub-a-dub! Scrub-a-dub! Toot! Toot!

Premise/plot: The Goodnight Train is a bedtime book for little train lovers. It's written in rhyme. The text is silly, but the illustrations are even sillier perhaps.

My thoughts: Trains are ever popular with little ones. Not just with boys but with girls as well. This board book is perfect for little ones
What a cute rhyming story to read to kids before bed. My nephew giggled as I read it to him, especially when I actually yawned when I was reading about a character yawning.
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love this adorable good night book! So much more interesting than some of the other goodnight books out there, this one seems to start out faster and louder, eventually becoming softer and slower as the engine moves into its shed to sleep. This book is lovely and unusual--perfect for train-loving toddlers who have everything train, everything Thomas. This is definitely something different that they probably don't have!
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In my opinion, this book is leagues better than Chugga Chugga Choo Choo, which I recently read to my 3yo son. The rhymes and meters were more fluid, and it was more interesting to me (though it probably didn't make a huge difference to him, as anything with trains is good in his mind). I just hate reading books I don't like, so I'm glad we have this option. I am collecting goodnight books for my kids, and I will keep this one.
Bridget Gambaiani
I really enjoyed reading this one out loud. The variety of train noises was fantastic. The pictures are busy and a bit zany. The images don’t all make sense, but it is fun to look at. My son has requested it the last five nights for bedtime. He is going to be disappointed when we have to return it to the library.
Oct 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway
My absolute favorite bedtime book. The rhyming words are a perfect rhythm to create a sense of cool peace just before bed. HIGHLY RECOMMEND!
Danie P.
Jan 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Rhyming test, more so for really patient toddlers and preschoolers, interesting illustrations. Children getting ready for bed board the goodnight train and ride it all the way to dreamland.
Hop on board the bedtime train. With baths taken and teeth brushed, it choo-choos onto to dreamland. Sheep jumping over fences included.
Nov 19, 2010 rated it really liked it
This book takes the reader on a magical trip to dreamland by train. One that would be requested night after night by train fans who will enjoy the gently rhyming text and muted illustrations.
Jessica Sental
Sep 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: shelfie
While this book does not carry as cargo a profound message, nor does it have the world's most intricate illustrations or elegantly-crafted language, this book is on my shelf because it represents an experience. Books and reading--surprise, surprise--have always been so important to me. Because of this, I have been so committed to introducing my children to literature at a very, very young age. I started reading to both my son and my daughter before their eyes could even focus on the pictures ado ...more
Luisa Knight
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
So clever! I love the sounds the goodnight train makes. The illustrations are fun too!

Ages: 3 - 5

**Like my reviews? I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too. These reports give a complete break-down of everything in the book, so you'll know just how clean it is or isn't. I also have Clean Guides (downloadable PDFs) which enable you to clean up your book before reading it! Visit my website: The Book Radar.
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Fun board book of what happens before and during sleep, but I thought there was too
much going on to be calming. There are bright illustrations.
Fun rhymes and great illustrations with lots of detail. I can imagine pointing out different elements and doing I spy with my daughter as she gets older and this book could still be entertaining.
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one our favorite nighttime books! An easy read and my toddler loves the pictures.
Sarah Karl
Dec 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-lit
This is a picture book that was published in 2006. I thought the illustrations were really great in this book and could be used in the classroom as a perfect read aloud story.
Emma Sedlak
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: for-the-kidlets
We bought this at the railway museum in Savannah, Georgia as a memento from Andrew’s time working there in college, helping to restore trains!
Melinda Weprin
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asher
Love to read this one, easy to keep the little ones involved
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
My son and my nephew both enjoy this as a going to bed book. They enjoy the pictures and the sounds.
Aiden and Jack
Jan 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2nd-grade-k-m
DRA: 18
Megan Gery
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Megan by: Andrew Seely
The story is strange and disjointed, but the illustrations are cute, and the repetition of sleepytime terms is effective.
Jackson Chevalon
Such a cute rhyming book. The illustrations are the best too.
The goodnight train gets set to roll. It's being shined, and filled with coal... that looks remarkably like cookies or cinnamon rolls--yum! This bedtime story board book is delightful, with the children's beds and a bathtub for the skunk making up most of the train's cars. Anthropomorphized animals are the train's conductor, porter, etc. The pajama-clad tots ride the train up the mountain, through the tunnel, around the town, across the plains and fields, until everyone is asleep and arrives hom ...more
Mama Bibliosoph
What we love about this book: Trains; text includes high-interest train sound effects that are well scripted; good rhyme scheme and rhythm; the structure really makes sense for bedtime.

Challenges: Illustrations are gorgeous, but there's a lot going on and it may be too much for some kids to track.

I review books for children from the perspective of a parent of kids with autism. The review above is the last part (my summary) of a longer blog post about this book and three other bedtime books:
Katherine Cowley
A fun, imaginative board book, perfect for sleepy toddlers who could see themselves climbing into a train's sleep car before bed, on a ride to Dreamland. What really makes this book shine is its beautiful illustrations by Laura Huliska-Beith. An alligator with a toothbrush scrubs the train's nose before the journey, the conductor is a pig, and the train's fuel is a bin of cookies and cinnamon rolls. Fun train noises slowly lead the passengers through wakeful and then sleepy adventures, including ...more
Jordan Tankersley
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved everything about this book! First of all, the detailed illustrations were amazing. Every inch of each page was filled with color and detail which I think is important for children. I also loved all the rhyming in the book. I always have fun with rhyming books and I know that kids enjoy them as well. These kind of books are always helpful when it's time for bed. After reading this to the boys I babysit, they have no problem going to sleep since the end of the book ends with the ...more
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kids
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-books
Genre: PB19

A great story to read at bedtime. Readers will love following the train through each page of the story as it heads to sleep. The illustrations are whimsical and the colors are true to the story, keeping with the theme of bedtime with the dark colors and blues all throughout the pages. The storyline is good for younger children, but will entertain older children as well.

Three words to describe this book: Calm, sleepy, sweet
Margaret Chind
This is a pretty cute board book and I love this deep shade of blue that is used again and again through out the story. Follow the rhythm and rhyme as it lulls and guides a little one to a restful sleep. With the capability of sharing the getting ready and saying goodnights this is a fun one that could be used over many a night for bed or naptime.

*Thanks to HMH for providing a copy for review.*

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June Sobel was born in New York City and grew up in the Long Island suburb of Oceanside, New York. She graduated Skidmore College and has an MFA in Painting from Stanford University. The birth of her son renewed her interest in the read aloud magic of picture books. June loves the challenge of creating books that awaken the wonder of words and pictures in children as well as keep the child alive i ...more