August 27, 2015
Alphabet Trains by Samantha R. Vamos, illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
by Samantha R. Vamos
illustrated by Ryan O’Rourke
Do you have an train crazy kid in your life? If you do, you need to pick up a copy of Alphabet Trains.
Tear the ticket.
Load the freight.
Sound the whistle.
Raise the gate.
The opening sets the tone for this fun, fast-moving alphabet book. Vamos takes readers on a trip around the world, introducing them to trains throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The book is written in rhyme which helps make it a fun read aloud. Readers work their way through the alphabet as they learn about auto trains, Zephyrs and more. I especially appreciated the fact that she didn’t cheat on X. To find out what train she found that begins with this letter, you’ll have to read the book.
O’Rourke’s illustrations add to the fun with their light cartoony style. He works the appropriate letters, both upper and lower case, into the illustrations. At the very least, the letters are on the trains but they can also often be found throughout the artwork itself in the form of Y-shaped trees and track supports shaped like E’s or M’s where appropriate.
The backmatter for this book includes details on the trains themselves including where each can be found. This could easily be turned into a geography game as you challenge your reader to puzzle out (cold, cold, warmer!) where each country is on a world map.
Share this book with your young train lover and you’ll find yourself reading through it for the fun of the rhyme but then paging back through the illustrations as your pre-reader or new-reader looks for the letters found within. That said, the book isn’t so rowdy that you couldn’t use it to settle a child down for nap or bed-time.
A fun addition to the bookshelf of your train-loving child.