Author: Kevin Lewis

18 to 23 Months Predictable Text

This delightful rhyming book shows a busy day in the life of a toy train from sun up to sun down. Your child will certainly pick up the rhyme and learn to sound the train whistle at just the right time. The book provides lots of great vocabulary words and detailed pictures for extended conversations with your child.


Before, During and After Reading

Oral Language

Introduce the title and front cover and ask your child to make a prediction as to what the story will be about. You might say:

The title of this book is Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo. Do you know what makes the sound, chugga-chugga choo choo? You’re right, a train. Look at the picture on the front cover. What do you think this book will be about? Let’s see!


Phonological Awareness and Vocabulary

Reading books is a great way to introduce children to rhyming words and to new vocabulary words. Don’t expect your child to master these skills yet. By giving her repeated exposure to rhyming words and new vocabulary words, you are laying the foundation for future reading success. Here are some ideas:

  • Bring attention to the rhyming words by repeating the rhyming words and seeing if your child will repeat the rhyming pairs with you.
  • Use the pictures in the book to help explain new words like engineer, freight, steep, valleys and tunnels.

Letter Knowledge

Be “Letter Detectives” and search for the letter “C” on the pages as you read. Touch the letter C in the title of the story and say, I see the letter C in Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo. Let’s be a “Letter Detective” and find the letter C. Provide magnifying glasses to help your child search for the letter C as you read the story.  

Beginning Writing

Create a train track in the sand. Encourage your child to use her hand to create lines and curves in the sand. These lines and curves can become a train track for her toy trains and at the same time help your child develop fine motor skills needed for beginning writing.

More to Do

  • Make a pretend train and let your child be the engineer and take his toys on a ride. Create places in the room that represent the vocabulary words ‘tunnel’ and ‘valley.’ Use a toy train and help your child create a mountain out of toy blocks or a tunnel that is under the bed.
  • Take a ride on a train in the mall, or visit a real train.

Explore more books for children 18 to 23 months, or find an easy at-home activity designed to strengthen pre-reading skills.