by Jason Carter Eaton
John Rocco, illustrator
. . . . …….TOP 10 BOOK OF 2013
Inside Jacket: “Finding advice on caring for a dog, a cat, a fish, even a dinosaur is EASY. But what if your taste in pets runs to the more, er, mechanical kind? What if you like cogs and gears more than feathers and fur? Or you prefer the beckoning call of a train whistle to the high-pitched squeal of a guinea pig? Or maybe even dream of a smudge of soot on your cheek, not slobber?
“If that sounds like you, then have your ticket ready—your search is over.
“Here at last is everything you need to know in order to find, keep, and train your own PET TRAIN. You’ll 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!”
Opening: “So you want a pet train? Well, of course you do! Trains make awesome pets—they’re fun, playful, and extremely useful.”
About the Story: If you are interested in an exotic pet, a train is what you want. How to Train a Train is just the book to help you find your first train. If you do not learn how to train your train, you cannot expect a life-long friendship. Trains are wild beasts you need to catch and take home. I suppose you could trap it, corner it, or possibly trick it. What you cannot do is walk into a train store and buy your new pet.
How to Train a Train has all the advice you need. Learn how to feed, play, walk, and put your train to bed. Oh, and what is a pet without a few tricks to show off its smarts? Jumping through a hoop—a hoop on fire, would be impressive.
Seriously, if you want a pet train that will be your friend for life, always have your back, give you caboose rides, perform tricks, and, most importantly, offer unconditional love, you need to read How to Train a Train. It is the leading authority—the only authority—on how to train a train.
What I Thought: How to Train a Train is an unusual book with unusual ideas. It is not a Cesar Milan book for unruly dogs, nor a Jackson Galaxy for hellish cats. This is a wildly funny pet train book. Okay, I know what you’re thinking, because I thought it too. No, this is not about those pint-sized pocket pet trains. These trains are the King Kongs of mechanical travel. If you are anything like me, you will bust a gut reading this book. The text hilariously takes itself seriously, adding to the laughs. Serious or not—not—How to Train a Train slams shut those other pet books.
The illustrations turn the funny text into hilarious pictures. Picture yourself walking your train, on a leash. Or teaching it to play dead, play catch, or roll over. Do you have that image firmly in your head? Now switch out yourself for anyone else. Now look at that image. Isn’t that the funniest thing you have seen all day? The biggest laugh you have had all day? Yep, that’s How to Train a Train.
The little guy taking you on the tour of Life with a Train is cute and has an adorable smile. Decked out in safari khaki and a jungle hat, he is ready to teach you everything you would ever need to know about pet trains. He takes you from wild trains to domesticated trains in 32 pages. The little safari boy even teaches the language of trains. No woofs or meows, not even a whistle. Thought that was how you would call your pet train, didn’t you? Nope. Listen to your train. What does he say to you?
How to Train a Train is now my favorite picture book of the year. It covers every page with visible laughter and illustrations that are a visual treat for the eye. I must have read How to Train a Train a dozen times now and it cracked me up the twelfth time as equally as it did the first. Maybe it is because I am an animal lover, but I don’t think so. The author and illustrator gently make fun of an everyday event. They add boxcars overflowed with laughs and good humor. They play it straight so we can laugh, and I for one laughed until it hurt the very first time I read How to Train a Train.
Released September 24, 2013
Age 4 to 8
HOW TO TRAIN A TRAIN. Text copyright © 2013 by Jason Carter Eaton. Illustrations copyright © 2013 by John Rocco. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA