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This book features two seminal kid pleasers--animals and trains. I am a teacher who has read the book to dozens of children who have really enjoyed it. I would like to defend it agains the "dark" criticism. In my experience, children haven't been scared, upset or bothered by the story or the illustrations. They have been empathetic however, and perhaps that bothers some adults. The illustrations are lovely, misty, giving a feeling of riding the train out at sunset around the world. The little boy hero of the story has fun, whimsical adventures with all of the animals. My experience with kids is that they like the illustrations and smile when when they discover an interesting detail hidden in the mist. The story has a positive message--the little boy finds room on his train for all the animals, and they end up at his house. Perhaps the ending is simplistic and overly optomistic for some, but it's a little kids fantasy story! I believe the underlying message is positive and possible, that we can make room in our lives to exist in peace with all G-d's creatures. I have had kids act out this story as a skit and make animal cosutmes, and they had a ball doing that. Also, kids could make up other adventures for the little boy and his train, involving other endangered animals. One of the best books I have found for young kids that tells about endangered species in a poetic way, which helps them understand the basic concepts involved. Again, it is simplistic, but this book is for pre-schoolers and early elementary kids who are just being introduced to the topic. Although the third and fourth graders who did the skit liked it as well! It could spark discussions with kids about what's really going on in the world with endagered species, and what people can or should do about it, but that's our job as parents and teachers, to help kids cope with and understand life with all it's highs and low and contradictions.
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Book Description Crown Publishers, 1991. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0440844843
Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # STRM-0440844843