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.