All bookseller links are provided so you can get more information about a book. We have affiliate relationships with Barefoot Books,, and Tapestry Books. All revenue generated from sales through these venues is used strictly to cover website costs and minimize donation requests and fundraising campaigns.

If parents understood the huge educational benefits and intense happiness brought about by reading aloud to their chil... More

      Printer Friendly

Click cover to buy:


Author: Sherri Duskey Rinnker

Illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Chronicle Books, 2013

Material: hard cover

Summary: The Dream Train pulls into the station at night and it is left to an animal crew to fill it with toys, ice cream, and more. From the bear engineer to the monkeys, kangaroos, elephants, dinosaurs, and polar bears, the train crew works hard to prepare the Dream Train for its nightly work. This beautifully written and illustrated work will excite little imaginations to wonder what their own toys do while they sleep.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 2 to 6; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 2 to 9

Reading Level: 2.8

Age of Child: Read with children ages 2 and 5.

Young Reader Reaction: This book has long been a favorite in our house, especially at bedtime. They love the animals, the toys, and especially the ice cream. The two year old has memorized the book and loves "reading" along. I knew my son would love this book, given it is about trains. However, I didn't anticipate how strongly he felt about it. It is the first book he has memorized and even recites it to his stuffed animals in his bed.

Adult Reader Reaction: Not only do my kids love this book, I do as well. The pictures are gorgeous and the narrative is surprising and sweet. The color scheme also lends itself to a restful reading experience, as they are all nighttime and twilight colors in deep purples and blues. The syntax is rhyming which makes it easy to read over and over again. The themes and reading ease are just right for the stated target audience

Pros: The narrative mimics child’s play as far as how children tend to play with their toys, especially toy trains, which makes it easy for a little reader to identify with the animal crew and their work. It is easy to read and a gentle read at bedtime or anytime.

Cons: No.

Borrow or Buy: Buy. I recommend buying this book, it is certainly one of our favorites. Little readers will want to read it over and over.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lictenheld LITTLE WHISTLE   NICCOLINI's SONG   JUMBO's LULLABY

Educational Themes: This is largely a story to share in the quiet moments of the day. With older children, you could create your own story with their toys. What kind of adventure does 'dolly' have? What job would 'lion' have?

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, trains, rhyme

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics Reviews and reader feedback at and


Copyright © 2003 - 2018. The Reading Tub, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The Reading Tub and Turning a Page ... Opening the World are registered trademarks of The Reading Tub Inc.
No use of these trademarks is permitted without written approval of The Reading Tub, Inc.
Privacy Policy.     Site developed by Sites2BeSeen.