As the mom of boys, I have spent countless hours reading these favorite train books to my kiddos. My boys were so in love with trains as toddlers they would even slip their favorite train books into my purse just to have them nearby.
As I’m sure you’ve discovered… the more popular the book, the more the book gets beat up. So I’m recommending our favorite train books in board book editions if they’re available. Either way, your toddler will adore these train books that will stand the test of time!
You can find these train books at your local library or purchase through the affiliate links provided for your convenience.
Favorite Train Books for Toddlers
Chugga Chugga Choo-Choo Big Book: As the simple large-lettered text chugs along, Daniel Kirk brings a child`s playroom and train set to life with bold, bright illustrations reminiscent of his work in Bigger. In the course of the book, the toys bustle about to make sure the steam engine is loaded up with freight and finds its way (through the country, `round the mountains, into tunnels, and across the river) to its destination–the city.
Freight Train Board Book (Caldecott Collection): In powerful words and vibrant illustrations, Donald Crews evokes the essence of inexorably rolling wheels, so that even a child not lucky enough to have counted freight cars will feel he has watched a freight train passing. A book truly for the youngest child — and for every one of us who has been that child.
Good Night, Thomas (Glow-in-the-Dark Board Book): Little boys ages 2-5 who are fans of Thomas & Friends will love this fun format that features sturdy board pages with glow-in-the-dark ink. The moon, stars, and Thomas’ headlight brighten the night in this sleepy bedtime story.
Trains Board Book: Byron Barton introduces young readers to the fun of trains in this bold and colorful book. All aboard as the train journeys through a town, past workers repairing the rails and into the station. With simple text and vibrant illustrations, readers will learn about a variety of trains and what they do.
The Little Train (Lois Lenski Books): In this adventure, Engineer Small drives his little train from Tinytown to the city-and back. Along the way, the little train passes tunnels and stops at stations to pick up cargo and passengers. Presented in full color for the first time, Lois Lenski’s The Little Train will delight a whole new generation of readers as they learn all about the ins and outs of a working train.
The Goodnight Train: All aboard! The Goodnight Train is full of coal and leaving town. Rhythmic prose and playful illustrations create a gentle, whizzing journey where animals and little ones fluff their pillows and settle in for a clickety-clackity, rock-and-roll ride to Dreamland. A remarkable rhyming bedtime treat!
I’m Fast!: Can a train pullin’ half a mile of heavy-duty freight cars make it to Chicago ahead of a speedy little race car? Through the desert . . . Through the mountains . . . Through a blizzard . . . The race is on!
Steam Train, Dream Train: The team behind the #1 New York Times bestseller Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site returns with another fabulous book for bedtime! The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, bouncy kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls. Sweet and silly dreams are guaranteed for any budding train enthusiasts!
Trains: Steaming! Pulling! Huffing!: Trains, trains, trains! Giant engines snorting, puffing, steaming, pulling, rushing, huffing! All kinds of trains, from cabooses to hoppers and commuter trains to zoo trains, clickety-clack along the tracks. The mixed-media illustrations using clip art, etchings, original drawings, and maps will remind parents and grandparents of an earlier time. Children will enjoy the collages, puns, and delightful wordplay throughout.
Pete the Cat’s Train Trip (My First I Can Read): Pete the Cat is back in New York Times bestselling artist James Dean’s beginning reader Pete the Cat’s Train Trip. Pete can’t wait to visit Grandma, especially because he gets to take a train ride to see her! The conductor gives Pete a tour of the train, and Pete gets to see the engine and honk the horn. Pete even makes new friends and plays games on board. What a cool ride!
Like these train books? Find even more engaging book lists for kids with more than 100 book-themed reading lists!
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