Steam Train, Dream Train App is a Wacky Bedtime Story for Train Lovers

Steam Train, Dream Train is a terrific bedtime story for kids who love trains
Steam Train, Dream Train is a terrific bedtime story for kids who love trains

Steam Train, Dream Train is a terrific bedtime story for kids who love trains

A few months ago, we reviewed a bedtime book app called Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld. It follows a group of hardworking trucks as they prepare for bed at a big construction site. Filled with rhyming text and vivid illustrations, it’s a charming story that will satisfy truck lovers of all ages.

Today, we are happy to review the follow-up to the app, called Steam Train, Dream Train. It’s written and illustrated by the same team, and just as beautifully adapted for iOS.

All Aboard the Dream Train

In the dark of night, a train arrives at the station with whistles blaring. But this is no ordinary train; a vibrant scene soon reveals a lively crew of monkeys, rabbits, kangaroos, and various other animals. They quickly get to work, stowing all sorts of cargo onto their designated train cars.

Right off the bat, the monkeys stow all things that rock, roll, and spin onto the box car. The kangaroos toss colorful balls into a hopper, and the elephants squirt paints into tankers. Somewhere else, a polar bear loads giant ice cream sundaes onto the reefer car, and happy dinosaurs snack on the well cars.

Their job finally done, the crew tucks into their beds on flatbed cars and the train departs. At the end of the story, the scene takes us to the bedroom of a sleeping boy whose train set can be seen on the floor below him.

Beautiful and surreal imagery appears throughout the story, stirring the imagination of little ones
Beautiful and surreal imagery appears throughout the story, stirring the imagination of little ones

Beautiful and surreal imagery appears throughout the story, stirring the imagination of little ones

Parents Need to Know

In this fun, rhyming story, kids will be introduced to lots of new terms, which includes types of freight cars, and onomatopoeia. I would say that the vocabulary used in the app is of slightly higher level compared to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site. Therefore, I would recommend this book to ages four and up.

As do most Oceanhouse Media’s digital books, the app features excellent reading options. It has two reading modes, Read to Me and Read it Myself. In either modes kids can tap on the words to hear them pronounced, and on objects to know their names. The default narrator is excellent, but parents have the option to record their own voice for a personalized reading experience.

The app has no in-app purchases and third-party ads. A list of apps in the developer’s catalog may be accessed from the main screen, but to follow each link you must perform a specific gesture. It should also be noted that news from the developer may pop up occasionally, but can also be turned off from the in-app settings.

Steam Train, Dream Train is available in English. It can be downloaded now as a Universal app on the App Store.

The app has excellent reading options. For example, you can tap on objects to know their names.
The app has excellent reading options. For example, you can tap on objects to know their names.

The app has excellent reading options. For example, you can tap on objects to know their names.

Things I Like

Steam Train, Dream Train is a beautiful app that will delight young readers. The vibrant wax oil pastel illustrations against dark, textured backgrounds give off the look of a classic children’s book. The animations, simple but effective, add a touch of charm without distracting from the actual story. The sounds of engines chugging and crickets chirping in the background also enrich the reading experience.

The story itself is just as fantastic. Although the pacing is a bit clunky compared to Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, it is still a fun read. Somehow it manages to work in many childhood obsessions — trains, toys, construction trucks, race cars, dinosaurs, ice cream — into a wacky story that stirs the imaginations of little ones before smoothly lulling them to sleep. The ending scene, which shows a sleeping child and his train set on the floor below him, ends this story perfectly.

Parents can record their own voice to replace the default narrator
Parents can record their own voice to replace the default narrator

Parents can record their own voice to replace the default narrator

Conclusion

If you loved Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site then you'd love Steam Train, Dream Train. Beautifully illustrated and animated, it has the look of a modern classic. The dreamy story ends gently in a sleeping child's bedroom, making it perfect for bedtime. Suitable for ages 4-8 who love trains and animals.

Get it on the App Store: iPhone | iPad

App was provided for our honest review.