Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night?by Brianna Caplan Sayres
Illustrated by Christian Slade
Released June 27th 2017
Published by Random House Books for Young Readers
Buy on Amazon
Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres is a sibling of the author and illustrator’s other collaborations, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? and Where Do Jet Planes Sleep at Night?. The book seems to be a market hybrid. Its 6” by 7.5” trim and thick cardboard give it the look and durability of a board book. But twelve full spreads, each with a stanza of rhyme feel more like a bedtime picture book for slightly older little readers.
“Well, maybe all your choo-choos are fast asleep in Steam Land!”
The book has a clear topic: the different types of trains spend their evenings, though there is no implicit lesson as is typically offered in picture books. Where Do Steam Trains Sleep at Night? effectively answers a question little readers might ask. The rhyming word pairs are solid, though the rhythm of some stanzas is choppy when read aloud. The language is soothing and well-suited for a bedtime read.
The art is done in gorgeous pastel (chalk?) illustrations. They transition from orange and pink sky sunsets through green to blue and purple night skies. A mouse engineer is present throughout. Pairs of parent/child anthropomorphic trains (a la Thomas the Tank Engine) have sweet faces that convey mutual affection.