Book review: Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump and The Littlest Train

Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump! is a new picture book written by K. L. Going and illustrated by Simone Shin. It tells a lovely, simple story of two siblings having a berry-picking and pie-making day. Going uses short, rhythmic sentences that feature fun, made-up onomatopoetic words like “bumpety, plunkey, and clunkety”. The text begs to be read–perhaps even sung–aloud to your little ones.

The illustrations caught my eye due to the excellent close up shots of things at ground or kid eye level, like the front stoop or the kitchen sink. Shin has a definite grasp on how children view the world. Her round-faced characters are charming in a soothing muted color scheme.

Ending up with the family’s night routine, this picture book would be a fun addition to your 2 to 4 year olds’ tuck me in time.

You can find Bumpety, Dunkety, Thumpety-Thump in our catalog. Click here to view this item’s record.


Anyone with a little one who loves vehicles is probably already familiar with Chris Gall from his popular Dinotrux series. Now he’s expanded his repertoire with the fantastic The Littlest Train. In this new book a toy train gets bumped off his table and goes on a cross country adventure meeting many different types of trains, including a cog railway, a bullet train, and the traditional steam engine.

With no more than four or five sentences per page, this story is not too long for the average train lover, but they’ll want to take time pouring over the expressive illustrations. Gall alternates between the toy train’s perpective, giving us fun little details of the train table or the hidden world in the walls, and lovely overview spreads of desert vistas or the trainyard. There’s just enough cross-hatching in the illustrations to give them the feeling of a wooden train set without making the colors muddy.

The Littlest Train’s journey ends with a joyful reunion with his owner, “Mr. Fingers,” and some interesting new friends on the train table. I predict this will be a big hit with Gall’s current fans and garner him some new ones.

You can find The Littlest Train in our catalog. Click here to view this item’s record.

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