All Aboard! Time to hop on the Snake Train!
Trust me this is not like that infamous plane. These are nice, colorful, cute (later sleepy) snakes. They have fun going around the track, having adventures and finally, end their day curled up in their dens. Kathryn Dennis has a simplistic story and art to make your toddler want to go on their own train trip.
The thing that makes Snakes on a Train accessible to people who do not like snakes is the fact that the snakes are not real. First, how many snakes do you know drive a train? And second, how many hot pink snakes are out there? Not quite a rainbow of snakes, this fantasy element makes them look like they belong on Sesame Street. Finally, these snakes look more like fat, worms then any snake I have seen. Of course, I would love to see this in a board book sized.
Trains was the theme of the night for reading. The Christmas Tree Who Loved Trains came up next. I was interested in how they would do this. How can a tree love trains? Annie Silvestro (along with some amazing illustrations by Paola Zakimi) does this by having a small tree off by themselves, in the corner of the tree farm where they watch trains.
When a young boy comes, he and his family take it away. The poor tree is sad, now it can no longer hear, feel and see the trains. It is not until Christmas that something magical happens.
Now I am thinking, poor tree it is dead now. Does it get to go to heaven where it watches trains all day? Not exactly. You see I forgot the part where they did not cut down the tree, just dug it up. So, they replant it later. And the tree has the trains and a new friend with the boy.
Now, while the second is a Christmas book, I would read this all the time if I liked trains. Out of both of them, this one is my favorite due to the solid story and Zakimi’s out of this world art. These images are almost frameable (and I mean the way you hang on the wall, not go to the hoosegow after you are framed kind of way).