Listen Up! Train Song Reviews

School Library Journal ★ Starred Review

A red freight train runs along a track with a hilly and forest-covered landscape behind it.

“PreS-K–Train lovers will delight in this board book featuring photos of trains. Each spread corresponds with musical text. A refrain of “Let’s sing a…song all down the track” makes this title a perfect match for story hours about things that go. Onomatopoeic words for various trains and train parts will encourage listeners to repeat and follow along.”

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Kirkus Reviews

“Locomotive-loving storytimers rejoice! Your newest read-aloud is here. “Whoooooo! Chooooooo!”

In this bouncy follow-up to Allenby’s Shape Up, Construction Trucks! (2020), rhythm carries readers along the rails. “Where do the trains go? / There and back. / Let’s sing a train song / All down the track.” After this opening, double-page spreads introduce different train-related vocabulary and associated onomatopoeia. Large, colorful, close-up stock photographs of trains ac uses it company the different sounds they’re capable of making. The engines go “Chuff-a-gruff-a!”; the metro sings “Whoooosh! Swoooosh!”; the boxcar says “Rattle-tattle!”; and more. Participation possibilities abound with the consistently inventive train sounds, and the bright and colorful images will be easy to see from across a room….Notes at the end of the book offer adult readers different ways to connect the book to rhythm and song….

All aboard! The littlest readers with a yen for the rails are bound to bounce with delight.” (Picture book. 2-4)

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CM Magazine

“The physical hardiness of the book is noted, including a hard, padded cover and rounded corners, and extra-heavy paper, making it robust enough for frequent use by young library patrons. The title is well-suited to reading out loud in storytime settings as the text is rhythmic and repetitive, yet there is enough variety to interest young listeners from page to page. Onomatopoeia is frequently utilized in words such as “hisssss!” and “screeeeech!” which add an exciting and interactive quality. The text is greatly enhanced by the full-colour photographs which are rich in detail and successfully depict movement. Some seasonal variety of outdoor scenes would enhance the overall impression of this title as all the outdoor photographs showcase trains under partly cloudy skies in the fullness of summer or very early Autumn. Nevertheless, Listen Up! Train Song is a delightful and fun book that will be of great interest and entertainment to very young children.”

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Youth Services Book Review

“An excellent way to introduce rhyming to young readers. The book explores the different types of sounds trains and train parts make. On each two page layout you get a large zoomed in photo of a train/train part or even a railroad crossing sign. On the opposite side of the picture there is a short large-text script that asks the readers what sound the picture makes and then encourages them to make up their own song based on the photo. The book is very realistic and simple which makes it a perfect read to pair with a hands-on activity.”

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Fab Book Reviews

“Allenby’s book encourages participation and imagination, singing, and practicing rhyming, with detailed back matter that proffers “sound and rhythm” based activities that adults/caregivers/parents can try out with little ones. (My youngest proudly made up his own sweet train song after a few reads of this title!). Listen Up! Train Song is a solid, participatory read, and a highly recommended companion title for any young readers who love transportation or train books, or who have loved Shape Up, Construction Trucks!”

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Canadian Bookworm

“This picture book shows different kinds of trains, different parts of trains and connects them to different sounds. It plays with onomatopoeia by showing kids how the sounds that the trains make are described by words that sound similar and encourages them to explore this concept.

The book is written in a song pattern with repetitive lines linking the different verses. The photographs have close-ups of some of the train parts making sounds like horns and brakes. There are also some train-related items like crossings that have noise that get included here. Parts of the trains like engines and boxcars have their own particular noises.”

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The International Educator

Listen Up! Train Song, by Victoria Allenby is a board book for toddlers, turning all train sounds into a song. A story to share aloud, teaching the importance of rhyme and rhythm in poetry while having fun with onomatopoeia.”

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Alissa Tsaparikos (Goodreads)

“The sparse text is set in a simple rhythm that encourages audience participation. Back matter includes tips on practicing rhyme with children and how this acts as an early literacy activity. This book would work great in a transportation or train themed storytime.”

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Andrea (Goodreads)

“Excellent storytime book for young children. Rhyming, repetitive text is well paced. Close up pictures show the train parts being talked about in each rhyme, helping young children visualize just what makes each noise.”

Amanda (GoodReads)

“Absolutely gorgeous photo illustrations that the younger set and grownups too will love. The repetitive refrain gets old fast. Great use of onomatopoeia with train sounds. I suggest that you use your best judgment and edit this to whatever works for you.”

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