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"Perfect for Reading Aloud."

October, 2021

"A fully choreographed , immersive journey.... I can Make A Train Noise is a perfect choice for reading aloud. Young readers will eagerly hop aboard again and again."
- BookPage

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Fascinating in scope, admirable for clarity: a winner!*

September 2021

STAR REVIEW* - The message - the extraordinary journey of an ordinary text message -

*Kirkus Reviews - 

Emberley tracks a loving mom’s text message to her child on its secondslong global journey.

The narrative begins with receipt by the sleeping child’s “two little ears.” The message glows on the phone’s glass surface, “radiating out as billions of electromagnetic photons.” Cells in the eyes detect the photons and translate their message as an electrical signal, which travels through hollow nerve cells filled with salty fluid, “straight to the brain.” Italicized science facts augment the narration: Cannily, Emberley analogizes humans’ ability to conduct electricity through nerves and salt with machined infrastructure that does so via copper wire. Emberley uses the child’s return text to further examine the brain’s neural interactivity with the phone, then broadens the overview to unpack the complex, fascinating STEM systems that support modern global communications. Emberley deftly illuminates their basics with clear language, labeled illustrations, and ongoing respect for child readers. Signature, loose-lined pictures often show both under- and aboveground activity. Rabbits scamper in tunnels as kids swing on a playground; underground cabling snakes along, unseen. Details deftly enhance child appeal. Cellphone towers are sometimes disguised as trees to blend in with local landscapes. The locations of undersea cable landings are kept “as secret as possible, to prevent sabotage,” and the cables’ “protective armor” can withstand a shark bite. Child and mother both have pale skin and straight, dark hair. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Fascinating in scope, admirable for clarity: a winner. (author’s note, information resources) (Informational picture book. 6-9)

Pub Date: Oct 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5344-5290-9

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021



"Lush", "Innovative", "Compelling"*

August, 2021


I Can Make a Train Noise
by Michael Emberley and Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick; illus. by the authors
Preschool, Primary Porter/Holiday 32 pp. g
7/21 978-0-8234-4496-0 $18.99
e-book ed. 978-0-8234-5063-3 $11.99
"The action begins on the book’s cover, where readers can spot a young child and her family walking down a busy city
street, headed into a bustling café. Inside, they encounter even more noise among its preoccupied patrons, whose
thought and speech bubbles fill the page with gray clouds, worries, and complaints. The young child looks out at the
readers, asserting, “I can make a train noise now!” (This sentence and its variants compose the entire text.) Soon she
hops off her chair and, through a portal in the book, sweeps her surroundings into new order as the café becomes a car
on a speeding train. Across each subsequent spread, the font of the propulsive refrain/mantra (“I can make a train noise,
I can make a train noise, I can make a train noise, now!”) grows, shrinks, and swerves, offering cues for an engaging
read-aloud experience. The train races through an In the Night Kitchen–esque cityscape of tall condiments and kitchen
tools, whistles through a tunnel, and emerges into spacious, serene landscapes. As the train finally returns to the city
and slows to a stop—“!”—and the passengers rearrange themselves
into the more-familiar café, the former gloom and grayness has been transformed into cheer and community. Lush with
colorful and richly detailed illustrations, this innovative picture book compels its readers to get on board with the
sound, speed, and rhythm of a train powered by a child’s imagination."  - GRACE MCKINNEY




July 2021




Achild’s abundant imagination transforms a coffee shop into an adventure on an intercity train.

The child, bundled up in winter attire, enters a coffee shop with parents and a baby sibling. The shop is nestled under a railway bridge abutment; as the family enters the shop, a train zooms by overhead. This prompts the child to say: “I can make a train noise.” The child repeats this with increasing enthusiasm, imagining everyone in the shop standing and lining up like cars on a train. Next, the walls of the shop become a train; the condiments on the table become the buildings it passes; and the child is at the train’s controls. The child repeatedly chants, “I can make a train noise, now, now” or a variation thereof. Changes in type size and placement, punctuation, and sentence rhythm are employed to mimic the train’s speed, making this a story that begs to be read aloud. The spreads are filled with details; scenes in the cafe give readers peeks at people’s thoughts via speech bubbles filled with visuals. Assured lines convey the horizontal movement of the train, which makes for compelling page-turns. The clipped pace of the narrative delights. Readers may be left wondering how much of the adventure springs from the child’s imagination—the concluding cafe scene is slyly suggestive. The child and family are White; the cafe is filled with people with a range of skin colors. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

Exhilarating. (Picture book. 3-6)


"it was amazing -  5.00" !

January 11, 2028

  • The Message: The Extraordinary Journey of an Ordinary Text Message

  • Follow as a text message travels at near light speed around the world in this illuminating picture book about how our messages get from one phone to another, and connections they create between both people.

    Ever wonder how your text message gets from your phone to your friend’s phone? You type it, hit send, and boom—the text appears on your friend’s phone just moments later. But how?!

    From your brain to your fingers to your phone, once you hit send, off your message goes on a journey that seems impossibly far: traveling through the air, underground, under oceans, and even through mountains, in seconds. Turns out texts are big on adventure, and this book explains exactly what they do and how. No planes, trains, or automobiles involved, but lots and lots of hair-thin fibers, ocean-length cables, and satellites!


 "the world is getting ever smaller"

April 2021

The Message:The Extraordinary Journey of an Ordinary Text Message.

GOOD READS REVIEW - Lisa Yee Swope rated it it was amazing

Shelves: kids-club-yrsbookmarks-proof-arc

"You know the scene in the Crazy Rich Asians movie where a photo taken in New York spreads to the entire Asian community from there to Singapore in the time it takes to eat a slice of cheesecake? This is the phenomenal tech side of that, not only in the phone and the global infrastructure, located above ground, underground, and underwater, as well as the brain processing things and the communication of something both simple and deep: love. I went to a poetry reading today in which one of the significant bits was the psalmic "Selah" of our modern age: "Sent". Each communique, with all the places and creatures and people it interacts with, is the world getting ever smaller."


"Emberley celebrates the power of children to live in many worlds at once—and, at the same time, the power of trains to make journeys communal."

July 2021

*STAR REVIEW - Publishers Weekly


"On a chilly afternoon, a white family makes their way into a crowded coffee shop under the train tracks. Their toddler, wowed by a train whooshing by overhead, announces, “I can make a train noise,” then repeats, “I can make a train noise. I can make a train noise,” ending the chant with an emphatic “Now!” The child’s words mimic the chugga-chugga rhythm of the train, and they conjure up magic as the café’s customers are swept away on a fantasy journey down the tracks. The chant continues straight through, varying in volume and velocity as the child pilots the train through scenery that, In the Night Kitchen–style, includes cookery and restaurant mainstays, such as ketchup and mustard bottles. Everyone is returned to the cozy café transformed, as Fitzpatrick (Owl Bat Bat Owl) shows in thought bubbles that picture how the passengers’ moods have lifted. Emberley (Baby’s Firsts) celebrates the power of children to live in many worlds at once—and, at the same time, the power of trains to make journeys communal."

By Michael Emberley & Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4496-0

Ages 4–6. Author’s agent: Rick Richter, Aevitas Creative Management. Illustrator’s agent: Eunice McMullen. (July) 

Reviewed on 05/21/2021 | Details & Permalink


"... a clever, engaging book that will absolutely delight children."!

September 2021

Halfway up the Stairs


I Can Make A Train Noise by @Marielouisefit1 & @michaelemberley

has arrived!! This is a clever, engaging book that will absolutely delight children. And wow, look at the breathtaking Co Wicklow scenery!…

11:14 AM · Sep 10, 2021·Twitter for

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