The Littlest Train

illus. by Chris Gall. 40p. Little, Brown. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780316392860.POP
PreS-Gr 2—Railway lovers will relish Gall's latest offering. A little train, who has known only the "tiny town" he has spent his days circling, sees his world derailed when Mr. Fingers arrives, demolishing all he has ever known. After getting knocked over by a crane, he tumbles "down, down, down and into a brand-new world." The little train meets a variety of big trains who take him on many exciting adventures with myriad new sights to take in. The digitally created artwork's use of bold lines, bright colors, and expressive faces brings the trains to life, letting them burst with personality. A mix of oblong paneling and full spreads captures the energy of each train and the rich worlds they inhabit, propelling the narrative forward. Several spreads, with minimal to no text, of vast landscapes will absorb readers. The tale ends on a satisfying note as the little hero makes it home to find his tiny town is now an expanded world with new train friends and more tracks to explore. An author's note with information about the trains will appease young train buffs.
VERDICT A must-buy for all libraries where train books are in demand. A perfect choice for storytime or one-on-one sharing.

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