I Can Make a Train Noise

by Michael Emberley (Author) Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In this rhythmic read-aloud, all you need is an imagination to experience the thrill of a great train ride. When a girl shouts,   'I can make a train noise, now!" her imagination transforms a coffee shop into a zooming train, and her words clickity-clack across the tracks and blare like a train horn. In a flash, salt shakers and ketchup bottles become skyscrapers, and the girl's voice rattles along the tracks with I can make a train noise I can make a train noise. Her voice whistles "Nowowwwwww!" The propulsive, rhythmic text that mimics train sounds is sure to captivate all kids, pair it with gorgeously detailed artwork and you have a read-aloud like no other.

Michael Emberley, is the author and artist of many acclaimed children's books, including most notably It's Perfectly Normal. Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick is one of Ireland's most distinguished illustrators of books for children.

A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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The clipped pace of the narrative delights... Exhilarating. 

Publisher's Weekly

Starred Review

On a chilly afternoon, a white family makes their way into a crowded coffee shop under the train tracks. Their toddler, wowed by a train whooshing by overhead, announces, “I can make a train noise,” then repeats, “I can make a train noise. I can make a train noise,” ending the chant with an emphatic “Now!” The child’s words mimic the chugga-chugga rhythm of the train, and they conjure up magic as the café’s customers are swept away on a fantasy journey down the tracks. The chant continues straight through, varying in volume and velocity as the child pilots the train through scenery that, In the Night Kitchen–style, includes cookery and restaurant mainstays, such as ketchup and mustard bottles. Everyone is returned to the cozy café transformed, as Emberley (Baby’s Firsts) and Fitzpatrick (Owl Bat Bat Owl) show in thought bubbles that picture how the passengers’ moods have lifted. The creators celebrate the power of children to live in many worlds at once—and, at the same time, the power of trains to make journeys communal. Ages 4–6.

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission

Michael Emberley
Michael Emberley has been writing and illustrating children's books since 1979. He is best known for illustrating Robie Harris's It's Perfectly Normal. He lives in Ireland.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Neal Porter Books
Publication date
July 20, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV051000 - Juvenile Fiction | Imagination & Play
JUV000000 - Juvenile Fiction | General
JUV041050 - Juvenile Fiction | Transportation | Railroads & Trains
JUV068000 - Juvenile Fiction | Travel
Library of Congress categories
Railroad trains
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

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