Trains Go is a new 16 page board book by Steve Light. It’s a book that helps a child differentiate between the sounds different trains make. The board book helps readers hear the distinct sounds of a mountain train, a speed train, a steam train, a diesel train, etc. It reminds readers that not all trains sound the same. Light puts words to the sounds we hear a variety of trains make so we can differentiate between them in our own head. (A well-known illustrator, Light does not disappoint with the trains he creates with bold colors on each page of this book!)
We can teach students how to use onomatopoeia artfully in their writing. But first, we can them to listen to the world more closely. We can inspire young writers to do this by reading aloud books like Trains Go and talking about the way authors work carefully to capture the sounds things make.
As writers we have to listen closely to the sounds around us to make sure that we’re capturing them correctly with the words we use to describe the sounds we hear. Just the other day I was trying to capture the sounds my daughter makes when she chews finger foods for her baby book. While I could’ve described her food noises as the typing “mmmmm” or “yummy-yummy,” those aren’t actually the noises that come out of her mouth. I thought about Trains Go and the precision with which Light captures the sounds of the trains. Therefore, I listened-in closely to Isabelle as she chewed on small pieces of cheddar cheese. She was saying “aye-ya-ya-ya-ya” as she was chewing. She doesn’t say “aye-ya-ya-ya-ya” when she eats pureed food. Therefore, I thought I should capture this distinction in writing by listening closely to the sounds she makes when she eats.
Here’s a peek at two of the pages from Light’s book. Please note: I was able to obtain jpgs of individual pages, rather than page spreads. Therefore, a photo of Isabelle perusing Trains Go follows after the jpgs provided by Chronicle so you can see how wide the book is when it’s opened completely.
- A special thank you to Chronicle Books for sponsoring a giveaway of one copy of Trains Go for one of our readers who resides in the U.S.A. or Canada.
- To win a copy of the book please leave a comment about this post, in the comments section of this post by Friday, February 17th, 2012 at 11:59 p.m. EST. A random drawing will take place on Sunday, February 19th and the winner’s name will be announced in a blog post later that day.
- Please be sure to leave a valid e-mail address when you post your comment so I can contact you to obtain your mailing address and have my contact at Chronicle send the book out to you. Please note: Your e-mail address will not be published online.
I am a literacy consultant who focuses on writing workshop. I've been working with K-6 teachers and students since 2009. Prior to that, I was a fourth and fifth-grade teacher in New York City and Rhode Island.
I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).
I live in Central Pennsylvania with my husband and children. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, doing Pilates, cooking, baking, making ice cream, and reading novels.