The Train Home

Greenwillow. Apr. 2023. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9780063076914.
PreS-Gr 2–Nari lives in an apartment that’s too full and in a city that’s too loud. Watching the train rumble by her window, she dreams of taking it someplace quiet just for her: a treetop nest, under the sea, or outer space. But in each place she imagines, she also thinks of which family member would like to see it with her. Nari starts to miss the noise of her family amid the quiet and decides to take the train back home. Even in Nari’s quiet times, Kim’s illustrations are a riot of color and delicate details; young readers will love to explore the different worlds Nari visits in her imagination. The language is poetic: “Nari’s parents bicker, her grandparents chatter, and her little sister whines. Their apartment grumbles with neighbors left and right, above and below.” The overall effect is a comforting dream-like world. Nari is East Asian with pale skin and a long, black braid.
VERDICT This quiet ode to imagination, the need for quiet, and the reassurance that one can always come back home should be a first purchase for most collections.

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