Illustrated by Doug Cushman
Little Simon 2002
I had written an early version of ANIMAL TRAIN called ALL ABOARD THE ANIMAL TRAIN which I tried to sell–unsuccessfully–for a number of years. It lacked something, but I wasn’t smart enough or alert enough to understand what it needed. Then my agent put me in touch with the editor of Little Simon because they both thought I might try some novelty books: board books, lift-the-flap books, shape books, etc. Now, normally even my picture books are pretty sophisticated. But with the advent of several grandchildren, I had been thinking quite young and reading them lots of baby books. So I guess I was ready to try my hand at something really for the younger set. I looked over my unsold manuscripts and–lo! there was ALL ABOARD THE ANIMAL TRAIN. The wonderful editor at Little Simon gave me direction, helped me see the book in terms of a baby book, and this was the result.
Doug Cushman has been a long time acquaintance and we often talked about the possibility of working together, so when the editor suggested him as the artist, I was thrilled.
What reviewers have said:
- “The animals aboard Jane Yolen’s Animal Train, teach colors, shapes, numbers and opposites. Die-cut like a locomotive, the board book’s playful verse encourages youngsters to look beneath liftable flaps (“Porter Seal soon/ Comes and goes,/ Luggage balanced/ On his nose”) as the characters ride the rails.”–PW
- “Animal Train is one of most fun concept books to hit the shelves in a long time. Cushman’s clever illustrations complement Yolen’s playful, rhyming text perfectly. Forget flying or car-tripping. Join the lively animals on their railroad tour for a trip of a lifetime!” WonderKornerAvailable as board book.