Skip to content

Oi! Get off our Train

oi get off coverJohn Burningham
Red Fox
Age 3-7

This is the story of a boy who, in his dreams, becomes the engine driver of his toy train. On his travels he encounters several animals who want to join the train, and have very strong reasons for doing so.The repeating pattern of this story makes it easy for developing readers to join in with the reading. Although a simple story, the book explores the important environmental theme of endangered animals, giving readers lots to think about and discuss.


Share the story

Read aloud
Read the story aloud pausing to talk about the pictures and what is happening when your child wants to.

Join in
As you re read the story children will enjoy joining in with the repeated refrain ‘Oi! Get off our train!’

Talking about the story
Talk about the different places the train goes to and what the boy and the animals do when they get there. Where would your child like to go if they were on the train? Talk about the different animals in the story and why they want to join the train. Do they have good reasons?

Things to make and do

Story play
Put some boxes or chairs in a row to be a train. Your child can choose some toy animals to be the passengers and then be the engine driver themselves.  Will the engine driver let the animals on the train? How will they persuade the driver?
If your child has a toy train or suitable construction set  and small  figures they can use these to tell the story.

Make a junk model train
Collect some small cardboard boxes and tubes and stick them together with glue or tape to make a toy train together. You could cover with small pieces of glued paper and paint as well.

Draw  a  picture
Give your child a long piece of paper and crayons to draw a picture of the train with all the animals. Encourage your child to tell you about the picture and where the animals are going.

Have an outing!
Plan a journey by train or find somewhere to safely watch trains for example from a nearby railway bridge or at a station.

Find out more

Read more books by John Burningham, titles include:

Mr Gumpy’s Motor Car
Come away from the water, Shirley
* Avocado Baby*
* Granpa*
Mr Gumpy’s Outing
Would You Rather…
The Shopping Basket

* See more lovemybooks ideas

Find out more about an animal from the story
Choose one of the animals in the story to find out about together using the internet or information books. Encourage your child to make a poster about them with a drawing and one or two facts you have found together. Children beginning to write can have a go at writing themselves or you can scribe for them.

Find out more about steam trains
Steam trains are not seen very often nowadays. Watch film clips of steam trains like this one  and talk about what’s different about trains today.