Saturday, May 6, 2017

[BOOK REVIEW] Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton

Title: Choo Choo

Author: Virginia Lee Burton

Genre:  Trains / Adventure / Classic / Drama

Year Published: 1937

Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Company

Source: Library

Content Rating:  Ages 5+ (One Scary Scene)

Buy on:  Amazon  //  Book Depository 

I have read at least two books from Virginia Lee Burton when I was younger and they were “The Little House” and “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” and I had enjoyed both books immensely!  So, I then picked up another book by Virginia Lee Burton called “Choo Choo” which was quite a unique read and is one that I would definitely recommend for children!

The story is about a beautiful little locomotive named Choo Choo who would pull trains from the city to the country and back again every day.  She was always accompanied by three workers who were named Jim the Engineer, Oley the Fireman and Archibald the Conductor who would all come together to take care of Choo Choo.  One day however, Choo Choo was getting tired of pulling trains in between the cities and the country and she decided to run away from the station and show everyone in town how beautiful she really is!

What sort of adventures will Choo Choo get herself into?

Read this book to find out!

Wow!  I never would have thought that I would enjoy this book so much!  Just like Virginia Lee Burton’s other works, this book has a classic and old fashioned feel as we get to see how trains look like during the 1930s.  I also loved the fact that this story has a different twist to the usual children’s story about trains, as it details the story about a young train running away from its owners, which I rarely read about in previous books about trains.  Virginia Lee Burton does a great job at making this book both cute and exciting at the same time as I loved the fact that Choo Choo’s owners really do care about what happened to Choo Choo when she goes missing as it brings in a heartwarming element to the story.  I was also sitting on the edge of my seat as I wondered if Choo Choo was ever going to make it back home safely and I liked the way that Virginia Lee Burton detailed the dangers of running away from home as Choo Choo gets into all kinds of danger on her travels and it would help teach kids about the dangers of running away from home by themselves.  Virginia Lee Burton’s artwork is quite unique in this book as most of the images are in black and white colorings, giving this book an old fashioned and bold feel and I also enjoyed seeing the images of Choo Choo herself as she is drawn as a cute looking locomotive, which strongly reminds me of the image from “The Little Engine that Could!”

The only real issue with this book is that there is one image in this book where Choo Choo ends up going through a scary looking forest that might frighten smaller children. The trees are drawn in a much eerier manner compared to the rest of the images and parents might want to go through the images in this scene first to see if their children can handle such scary imagery.

Overall, “Choo Choo” is a truly cute book that children who enjoy reading about trains will definitely get a kick out of!  I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the image of the scary forest might scare some smaller children.

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  1. This sounds like a super cute children's story. My nephew LOVES trains, so I bet he'd love this one. Great review, thanks for sharing!