This week, I would like to review another of my favorite children’s books, I Saw an Ant on the Railroad Track by Joshua Prince. This is a book that we bought for our daughter many years ago, and I still try to read it to the kids fairly often. While it’s not necessarily for infants like Sandra Boynton’s books tend to be, it still does a pretty good job of holding the attention of toddlers. I would say that the book is good for any kids from about 18 months to 6 years.
The basic premise of the book is that there’s a gentleman that works the switch for the railroad by the name of Switchman Jack. As he sits down to eat his lunch, he notices an ant walking along the track towards an oncoming train. Jack decides that he had better switch the track to save the ant, but he’s not able to pull the lever. At the last second, the ant jumps off the track and starts eating Jack’s lunch.
The book is very enjoyable and it has a fun rhythm to it that keeps the kids interested. One of the key aspects of children’s books is that they have to be able to entertain the kids without driving the parents insane. This book does that. You’re able to sit down and read it over and over without getting sick of it. An added bonus is that the illustrations are terrific (the illustrator’s name is Macky Pamintuan).
When I’m reading some books, I like to embellish the story whenever possible, and this book really allows you to do that which can be fun for the kids. I usually make up a whole story about how Jack isn’t actually very good at his job. He does try to reroute a train to save an ant after all. Not only that, but he’s unable to pull the switch, and that’s his only job. If you so desired, you could build a very fun backdrop to the story. Overall, I really enjoy reading this book to the kids.