I saved my favorite for last. ‘How to Train a Train’ is exactly that: a guidebook that teaches children how to capture and tame wild trains. … Jason Carter Eaton’s deadpan prose is calibrated just-so. He wisely leaves the abundant belly laughs to John Rocco’s paintings, which have their own zany style…
—The New York Times Book Review
Juxtaposing sensible tips with the absurdity of a huge pet locomotive creates a text that is at once believable and preposterous. … But what really makes this concept roar down the track are the entrancing digitally colored illustrations that perfectly capture the expressiveness and playfulness of the pet trains. … [T]his book is sure to be popular with train and pet lovers alike.
—School Library Journal (starred review)
Train and pet enthusiasts alike will delight in this rollicking story about selecting, naming, soothing and caring for a full-sized locomotive. … With believable expressiveness in the characterizations of the trains and a scale perfect for groups, this affectionate sendup communicates all the exasperation, responsibility and rewards of having a pet.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Eaton’s tongue-in-cheek—and eminently enjoyable text—is matched by Rocco’s smooth and sleek artwork laced with whimsy.
—Booklist (starred review)
An immersive experience for junior rail fans.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
The premise is delightful… Rocco’s characteristic art is digitally colored, imbuing it with a slick, almost metallic smoothness while graphite outlines provide solidness and occasional texture; compositions are nicely balanced throughout, with full spreads of Fido, Sparkles, and Smokey allowing viewers to fully appreciate the enormity of by this particular type of pet.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
The conversational text is exploded by John Rocco’s zany, digitally colored illustrations. Learn about how these mysterious beasts travel (freights move in herds, monorails alone) and what you need to trap them (big nets are good, quicksand works, but smoke signals are best). Eaton even explains how to soothe a jumpy engine: “Few trains can resist a read-aloud.” Few kids, either — especially when the subject is trains and the words go “Rocka-rocka, clickety-clack” down the track.
—The Washington Post
Eaton’s fanciful, funny text is perfectly accompanied by John Rocco’s energetic illustrations. … This book is sure to be a huge hit with young railroad enthusiasts everywhere.