In my house we love trains. When I say we love trains, I mean we race outside to look at the trains passing by Grandma’s house. Every single train. From engine to caboose. Every single time. Yay!

Little J loves toy trains, real trains, and especially trains in books. So without further ado, I give you my three favorite train books for toddlers. All aboard!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.



Looking for the best bedtime read? Check here!



Trains by Byron Barton

What a perfect little book! The illustrations are bright, with primary colors and bold lines. Travel with the conductor of a passenger train as he chugs past cities, rattles by towns, and finally makes his way to the train station. My mini-man loves echoing the “All aboard!” of the little conductor. This is part of a wonderful series including Planes and Trucks. Just the ticket if you have a tiny transportation aficionado on your hands!




The Little Engine That Could
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

This one’s a classic for sure. There’s just something about the repetitive prose that echoes the earnest, rhythmic music of trains. The first time I read this to my son, I was amazed at how it captured his attention! This version boasts bold new illustrations by Loren Long (not the familiar clown you remember, but so engaging!), complete with a wonderful fluffy purple stuffed elephant as a train passenger. You’ll soon be echoing the encouraging phrase over and over, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can!” If you prefer the original illustrations, try this version instead.



I’ve reviewed another fantastic train book in my Bedtime Books for Toddlers list. Check it out!



Freight Train
Freight Train by Donald Crews

This Caldecott Winner is a keeper for so many reasons. With its beautiful prose and rainbow of bright and simple illustrations, Freight Train is a classic. It somehow captures the excitement and transient nature of trains. Now you see it, now you don’t! The writing is exquisite too. What other board book uses a glorious word like “trestles?” Besides being train themed, this book is also fabulous for teaching colors to young toddlers. Each car on the freight train is illustrated in a color of the rainbow. So smart. Short and sweet, you’ll love reading and learning with this book.


Three train-themed classics, each unique and fun in its own way. These picks are sure to be instant favorites for your little train lover!

I love adding more train books to our collection. What train books for toddlers are on your bookshelf? I’d love to know!