Little Tiger Press
Little Elephant loves his toy train and isn’t interested in anything else. When he travels on a real train he finds the other young passengers don’t want to play trains, they prefer their own toys. Confusion in a tunnel changes everything and little elephant discovers new toys and makes some new friends too.
This book is great fun for reading aloud and joining in; it has a playful approach to words with a strong rhythm perfect for the train theme.
Share the story
Before starting to read the story, talk about the cover together, what we can see. Read the story aloud emphasising the rhythmic parts as you do and reading the tantrum section very loudly! Children will enjoy looking at the illustrations as you read and might want to pause to look closely or go back and look again at particular pages.
When you reread the story children will enjoy being Little Elephant and replying ‘train!’ to everyone. Being really loud for his tantrum would be fun too.
Enjoy reading parts together, for example the double page with all the transport words is perfect for this. If you do this a few times children will remember the words and the rhythm and might enjoy marching up and down while repeating them.
Talk more about the story
Talk about how Little Elephant is feeling in the middle of the story when he is having a tantrum and at the end when he has made friends. Make cross and happy faces together.
Children might like to look at their face in a mirror with different expressions.
Look at the penultimate page and talk about all the animals and vehicles you can see there. This is a great way to develop children’s vocabulary.
Watch the story
Watch and listen to the author, Judi Abbot read the story aloud:
Things to make and do
Play the story
If you have toy trains and tracks or construction kits to make them your child could take them on real or imaginary curvy journeys like the end papers of the book.
Create an imaginary train by, for example, arranging cushions on the floor. Place a soft toy animal on each cushion to be the passengers. Children could join in and be Little Elephant. If you have toy vehicles each passenger could have one as well. You might like to join in too. You could have ‘train, plane’ conversations like the animals in the story.
Out and about
Go on a train journey together. Talk about what you see and hear. Take photos of the train, of your child sitting on the train and through the train window. Look at the photos and talk about them together when you get home.
Make a book
Talk about the photos when you get home. Print them out and stick them in a scrap book. You could write what children say about each photo underneath. You could add to this when you go on other trips on buses or even maybe a plane or boat.
Find out more
Read other books by Judi Abbot:
Mouse’s Christmas Wish
Mole’s Harvest Moon