Maneki Neko: Susan Lendroth and Kathryn Otoshi
Growing Bookworms Newsletter: November 8

The Goodnight Train: June Sobel and Laura Huliska-Beith

Book: The Goodnight Train
Author: June Sobel
Illustrator: Laura Huliska-Beith
Pages: 32
Age Range: 0-3

Train I'm reading a variety of picture books to Baby Bookworm these days. One of our favorites is The Goodnight Train, written by June Sobel and illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith. I like it mostly because of the words - it's a joyful, rollicking tale with a nice cadence to it, perfect for reading aloud. Baby Bookworm seems to like the brightly colored, busy illustrations. She stares very intently at the pages.

The Goodnight Train is a bedtime book, as you might expect from the title. The train cars are beds and bathtubs, the passengers wear pajamas and slippers, and the porter carries pillows around. The train takes a somewhat surreal journey through tunnels and past fields of sheep, until arriving home at last, passengers all asleep.

Every page spread has a rhyming couplet, like:

"Find your sleepers! Grab your teddy.
Climb right up! Your bed is ready!"


"Slumber, lumber up the hill.
Cars climb slowly up until..."

Many of the pages also have train sounds, with a goodnight flair, like:

"Rock-a, rock-a, rock-a, rock-a -
Shhhhhhhhhhhh! Shhhhhhhhhhh!"

The train sounds are particularly fun to read aloud.

Huliska-Beith's illustrations are done in acrylic paints with fabric and paper collage, giving them a 3-dimensional aspect. The colors start out bright and warm, but become gradually cooler and more subdued as the train progresses along its journey. There are fun quirks, like an oversized toothbrush used to scrub the kids in the tub, and a pig for a porter. They're the kind of illustrations that just make the viewer happy to look at them.

If you have small children, I recommend that you consider adding The Goodnight Train to your bedtime reading arsenal. You won't be disappointed.   

Publisher: Harcourt
Publication Date: September 1, 2006
Source of Book: A gift for Baby Bookworm

© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).