Sleep Train Review

Synopsis from Penguin Young Readers:

A perfectly pitched bedtime story and counting book for sleepy train lovers, illustrated in dramatic 3D sculptures!

A little boy climbs into bed with a book and starts counting the train cars in it, between the engine and caboose. “Ten sleepy cars going clickety-clack,” reads the refrain. But as the boy counts cars and gets sleepier and sleepier, his room looks more and more like one of the train cars from his book–the sleeping car, of course!

Rhythmically told by the author of the Froggy books, Sleep Train is also stunning to look at. 3D illustrator, Lauren Eldridge, has sculpted an entire train full of intricate details. Part bedtime story, part counting book, part children’s fantasy, Sleep Train is a magical ride to dreamland.

About: Sleep Train is a children’s picture book written by Jonathan London and illustrated by Lauren Eldridge. It was recently published on 4/3/18 by Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, hardcover, 32 pages. The genres are children’s book, picture book, trains, and fiction. This book is intended for readers ages 2 to 5, grades K and under. According to the publisher’s website, “Viking Children’s Books was founded in 1933 as a department of the prestigious Viking Press. Throughout Viking’s history, it has been known for innovation as well as for a dedication to quality that has created the rich backlist the house enjoys. Viking has published ten Newbery Medal winners and ten Caldecott Medal winners, more than any other publishing house, as well as twenty-seven Newbery Honor books, thirty-three Caldecott Honor books, and an American Book Award winner. Viking publishes approximately sixty titles per year, ranging from books for very young children such as board and lift-the-flap books to sophisticated fiction and nonfiction for teenagers.” Please see below for more information about the author, illustrator, and publisher.

My Experience:  I started reading Sleep Train for my 6 years old son as a bedtime story on 4/21/18 and we finished it that same night. This book is gorgeous! I love LOVE the illustrations! My son loves the names of each car. We both tried to memorize it so we would know what each of them is called. I love the night sceneries, especially with the full moon. I love the sleeping car with a child reading sleep train book by the window overlooking the starry night.

In this book, readers will follow a running train as it “jiggling down the track” making the “clickety-clack” sounds. Each car is introduced by name and location. The first car is labeled number 1 and it’s located right behind the engine car and on until 10, the last car before the final caboose. The illustrations are of night views with sunset colors orange, pink, purple, blue, etc. The trains are positioned in many different ways. It rides over a bridge and through a farm where the cows are standing. It parks under the starry night and it whistles around a pond. A little boy inside a sleeping car counting the 10 sleepy cars again and again until he yawns and his eye lids grow heavy. This book is told in a rhyming way.

An excellent book, Sleep Train is a go-to story for kids! It’s almost like counting sheep but in this case the kids are counting train cars. This book also gives children the opportunity to name the cars in connection to the location of the train. The first car after the engine is called the tender, the second one is called the boxcar, and the third is called the tank car, and so on to the tenth before the tail end which is called the caboose. I love the challenge of counting and naming trains in order over the mundane way of counting sheeps. I highly recommend this book for everyone! Learn the names, count the trains, or just gaze at the 3D illustrations. It’s all worth it to pick up this book soon.

Pro: names of each train, counting, bedtime, illustrations, transportation, cover, rhyming words

Con: none

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository  or Penguin’s Website

About the Author & Illustrator:

Jonathan London is the creator of more than 20 books about the lovable and enduringly popular character Froggy. He is also a poet and a novelist. He burst on the children’s book scene in 1992 with the publication of three picture books. Since then he has published over 100 picture books, including the Froggy series and the young adult novel Where’s Home? Jonathan London started writing poetry in his late teens. Although he received a Masters Degree in Social Sciences and never formally studied literature or creative writing, he began to consider himself a “writer” about the time he graduated from college. After college, he became a dancer in a modern dance company and worked at numerous low-paying jobs as a laborer or counselor. However, during this 20-year period, London continued to write. He wrote poems and short stories for adults, earning next to nothing despite being published in many literary magazines. “It wasn’t until I had kids of my own that I became a writer for children,” he explains. “It all started with telling them stories when they were very young. I wrote down one of these stories, and it became The Owl Who Became the Moon, my first picture book sale (though it was my fourth to appear in print). Now I am finally making a living as a writer. A dream come true!” Born a “Navy brat” in Brooklyn, New York, London was raised on naval stations throughout the US and Puerto Rico. Today he lives with his wife, Maureen, and their two sons, Aaron and Sean, in rural Northern California, where they like to backpack in the summer, play in the snow in winter, and dance all year around. (Info & photo obtained from Penguin’s Website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).

Lauren Eldridge grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and studied landscape architecture, before turning her hands to model making. She now lives with her husband, two daughters, and their “beast” of a dog in Madison, Wisconsin. Find more about Lauren and how she works at (Info obtained from Edelweiss and photo obtained from the illustrator’s website). 

More Information about Penguin Random House

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***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review. Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


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