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1st ed.
Publisher, Date:
Somerville, Mass. : Candlewick Press, 2013.
1 v. (unpaged) : col. ill. ; 31 cm.
A whimsical guide to training a "pet train" instructs young enthusiasts about important issues including where trains live, what they like to eat, and how to get them to perform the best train tricks.
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Available Copies:
Current Holds:
0763663077 (hardcover)
9780763663070 (hardcover)

A whimsical guide to training a "pet train" instructs young enthusiasts about important issues including where trains live, what they like to eat, and how to get them to perform the best train tricks. - (Baker & Taylor)

Lavishly illustrated with retro-style artwork, a whimsical guide to training a "pet train" instructs young enthusiasts about important issues including where trains live, what they like to eat and how to get them to perform the best train tricks. Illustrated by the artist of the Caldecott Honor-winning Blackout. - (Baker & Taylor)

Everything you need to know about finding, keeping, and training your very own pet train.

Finding advice on caring for a dog, a cat, a fish, even a dinosaur is easy. But what if somebody’s taste in pets runs to the more mechanical kind? What about those who like cogs and gears more than feathers and fur? People who prefer the call of a train whistle to the squeal of a guinea pig? Or maybe dream of a smudge of soot on their cheek, not slobber? In this spectacularly illustrated picture book, kids who love locomotives (and what kid doesn’t?) will discover where trains live, what they like to eat, and the best train tricks around—everything it takes to lay the tracks for a long and happy friendship. All aboard! - (Random House, Inc.)

Trade Reviews

Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* As it turns out, a train is not so very different from a dog—at least in the way you train it. Our young narrator, outfitted in pith helmet and khakis, sets the tone: "So you want a pet train? Well, of course you do!" He begins at the beginning, showing readers how to find trains ("early steam engines pretty much just sit in a museum"); how to capture a train (smoke signals seem to be the best method); and what to name it (a gallery of pictures shows Smokey, Sir Chugsalot, et al.). Once a train gets home, it can be soothed by reading aloud and sent to sleepy town by listening to clickity-clack music. And oh the fun to be had as you teach your new train to fetch or rollover. Eaton's tongue-in-cheek—and eminently enjoyable—text is matched by Rocco's smooth and sleek artwork laced with whimsy. A simple sentence like "How does it feel about tunnels and bridges?" results in a cleverly angled spread of a boy pulling his nervous train over a wooden bridge. Despite the human (or is it canine?) sensibility with which the trains are invested, they also seem like real mechanical objects—sturdy, strong, and powerful. Often they're set against serene skies with blues and golds that could have come from the brush of Maxfield Parrish. This will get kids rolling. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews

The ultimate dream for railroad fanatics: pet trains! Eaton offers humorously detailed instructions on how to locate and catch a wild train, with tips on naming and helping your locomotive adjust to life among humans. Digitally colored graphite illustrations have energy and excitement in this fantastical picture book that's sure to be on heavy rotation in train-loving households.

Publishers Weekly Reviews

Styled as a get-to-know-your-pet guide, this manual teaches "everything you need to know to choose, track, and train your very own pet train." Intricately detailed, digitally colored graphite illustrations picture boys and girls selecting between vintage iron horses and sleek diesel designs. Rocco (Blackout) styles the trains' headlamps and windshields as friendly eyes and contrasts the engines' bulk against their tiny doting masters. Wearing a pith helmet and desert gear, a boy narrator lures a steam train with lumps of coal and a "Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga!" He knows he's in luck when he hears an answering "Choo-choo!" Eaton (The Day My Runny Nose Ran Away) recommends train names from the ordinary to the hilarious (Nathan, Smokey, and Captain Foofamaloo) and suggests activities and tricks. "How will you know if the train you caught is the one? Don't worry. You'll know," he writes, as a girl in red braids walks slowly along, whistling innocently, as a giant engine peers over a hill. An immersive experience for junior rail fans. Ages 4–8. Author's agent: Victoria Sanders & Associates. Illustrator's agent: Rob Weisbach Creative Management. (Sept.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

School Library Journal Reviews

PreS-Gr 1—From Thomas the Tank Engine to The Little Engine That Could, kids love personified trains, so it's not such a huge chug forward to imagine one as a pet. But how do you select, train, and care for your pet engine? Written as a guidebook for new owners, this amusing title incorporates language usually associated with pet ownership and child rearing. "It's only natural that you'll want to take home all the trains, but don't just grab the first one you see. Take your time and choose one that's right for you." Juxtaposing sensible tips with the absurdity of a huge pet locomotive creates a text that is at once believable and preposterous. "A warm bath can help calm a nervous train…and few trains can resist a good read-aloud." But what really makes this concept roar down the track are the entrancing digitally colored illustrations that perfectly capture the expressiveness and playfulness of the pet trains. Whether illustrating the new pet going for a "walk," performing a trick, or enjoying a playdate with other pet vehicles, the artist has so cleverly incorporated facial features onto the various engines that their distinct personalities shine through, as does the obvious affection children feel for their new pets. Additionally, the large-scale, saturated colors, and comic details of these pictures give young readers a boxcar full to look at and appreciate. From the appealing cover to the final moonlit scene of a boy and his pet steam engine happily chugging down the track, this book is sure to be popular with train and pet lovers alike.—Teri Markson, Los Angeles Public Library

[Page 72]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Large Cover Image
Author Biography

Jason Carter Eaton is the author of the picture book The Day My Runny Nose Ran Away and the YA novelThe Facttracker. He has written for such diverse venues as McSweeney’s, Cartoon Network, MGM, and BBC Radio and has done extensive work at 20th Century Fox animation, Blue Sky Studios, where he received story credit for Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Jason Carter Eaton lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife, two kids, dog, cat, and pet steam engine.

John Rocco is the illustrator of The Flint Heart, a 2011 abridgment crafted by Katherine and John Paterson from the 1910 Eden Phillpotts fantasy. John Rocco’s picture bookBlackout earned him a 2012 Caldecott Honor. His other picture books includeFu Finds the Way, Wolf! Wolf!, and Moonpowder. He is the jacket artist for Rick Riordan’s best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, and collaborated with Whoopi Goldberg on the picture bookAlice. He was previously creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering and served as preproduction director at Dreamworks for the filmShrek. John Rocco lives in Brooklyn. - (Random House, Inc.)

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