Two Little Trains

Two Little Trains


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Two trains are heading West. One is a shiny train, moving fast. The other Is an old train, moving not so fast. What can they have in common? Much more than you think!

This treasured story from the author of Goodnight Moon has been newly illustrated by two-time Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon. Margaret Wise Brown's brilliantly simple text is fittingly showcased by the Dillons' extraordinarily inventive illustrations. You'll be surprised where the two little trains take you. Come and see!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780064435680
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 09/23/2003
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 480,020
Product dimensions: 11.00(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.09(d)
Age Range: 3 - 5 Years

About the Author

Margaret Wise Brown, cherished for her unique ability to convey a child’s experience and perspective of the world, transformed the landscape of children’s literature with such beloved classics as Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. Other perennial favorites by Ms. Brown include My World; Christmas in the Barn; The Dead Bird; North, South, East, West; and Good Day, Good Night.

Greg Pizzoli is the author and illustrator of several books, including the Geisel Award-winning The Watermelon Seed, as well as Tricky Vic: The Impossibly True Story of the Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower and Good Night Owl. He lives in Philadelphia. Visit him online at

Date of Birth:

May 23, 1910

Date of Death:

November 13, 1952

Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Place of Death:

Nice, France


B.A., Hollins College, 1932; Bank Street College of Education

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Two Little Trains 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
TaraThompson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really creative, kids will love how the little train does everythingthe big train does. Only in the little boys home. This book caneven teach geography. (6+)
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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 more seriously.Firstly, although the trains are going "to the west", if you were to look at a map, with North at the top (as is typical), west is to the left... not the right. Never Eat Shredded Wheat, as I taught my nieces, and the compass rose says "WE". Not, heaven forbid, "EW!" So I keep looking at the pictures thinking "But... surely that's EAST!"I'm aware that this is a stupid thing to complain about, I know it's silly, and I haven't taken off any stars for it or anything. It just bugged me and I had to let it out. Please forgive me :)The other, slightly more serious bit, is in this line: "The moon shone down on a gleaming track / And the two little trains going West; / And they hurried along and heard the song / Of a black man singing in the West."The illustration is of the toy train resting by a radio, and opposite it is an image of the (black) man in the moon singing.Now, you see the bit of the problem? Nowadays it's a bit... awkward to just randomly mention somebody's race unless it's, well, necessary. "Which one of those guys in the picture is Bob, your boyfriend?" "Oh... well, the black one, everybody else is white." It's just kinda weird... it's not like I'd randomly say "The red-haired man singing" or anything like that. As it happens, I have a few different thoughts about this, and they don't all agree.1. The text of this book was written in a different era. While I normally find the argument "We can't judge books by our modern standards" to be tiresome (unless you have a time machine, you're not giving the book to a child 50 years ago, so why is it wrong to take modern standards and sensibilities into account when purchasing?), but the text and (modern) illustration here aren't especially offensive. They mention the man's race, they don't demonize or mock it in any way.2. I'm very interested in the research which says that children pick up racist attitudes more quickly if we do NOT talk about it.Apparently, since children aren't actually stupid, when they see that other people have skin a different color than their own, they wonder about it. But when their questions are met with embarrassment and attempts to quiet them, and when no explanation is ever given, they come to their own conclusions about skin color... often conclusions we'd rather they hadn't reached. We try not to talk about race in order to be polite, but instead we may send the message that there's something shameful or wrong about being not-like-us... especially if we have few friends outside our own ethnic group. There have actually been a few compelling studies among this line suggesting that the best thing to do IS to talk about race, but in a matter-of-fact way that's not, well, racist. Which doesn't mean going around pointing to people and going "Look! She's BLACK! Wow!", but it does mean that maybe skipping over that one word and hoping your kid doesn't learn to read quicker than they can ask you why you skip that one word is the best bet.3. On the third hand... it's just kinda weird to mention randomly that somebody is black! Perhaps in the context it was understood that he was singing a type of music that was primarily part of black culture? I don't know.So, as you see, I'm mostly on the side of "In this particular instance, it's no big deal", but I appreciate that some people will have reservations about it, and I understand that.
ecugary on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story of two trains, a new, fast train and an older, slow train. The book concentrates on the fact that both are trains and have more in common that one would think. Both trains are traveling west and eventually arrive at their destination.The illustrations are wonderfully crafted. The colors of the trains are wonderful with the differences between the new and old trains being depicted by using lighter and darker colors. The illustrations will attract all young readers, whom almost always love trains, to read the book over and over again.
raizel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Parallel pages show a real train and a toy train traveling through a mountain tunnel / under an book, over a bridge / along the edge of a bathtub, etc. Nicely done.
paroof on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With the old-fashioned illustrations, this story took me back to my childhood. Love anything written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by the Dillon couple. Quality children's literature.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a darling book that I have read to my older children when they were young, until the library lost the copy. I am so glad that it is back in print! I'm looking forward to reading it to my younger children. My favorite part is when the children hear 'the black man singing in the west' because my husband (their father) is black. It's such a fun book to read because of the sing-song type of rhythem and rhyme.