Kids + Teens

All Aboard! Steam Train, Dream Train is here!

Steam Train, Dream Train

The team behind the #1 New York Times bestseller Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site, Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, have answered their fans’ plea for “one more book before bed” with Steam Train, Dream Train.

The dream train pulls into the station, and one by one the train cars are loaded: polar bears pack the reefer car with ice cream, elephants fill the tanker cars with paints, tortoises stock the auto rack with race cars, kangaroos stuff the hopper car with balls (while zebras referee). Sweet and silly dreams are guaranteed for any budding train enthusiasts!

Get to know Sherri and Tom as they stopped by our blog to answer a few questions and give us a peek into their workspaces:

What’s one highlight from the success of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site?
Sherri: People wait in line to have me sign their books; some ask to take pictures with me: I will never get used to that!

Tom: Just before the book was released, Chronicle sent Sherri and me to present it to a group at Follett, a large book distributor outside of Chicago. The Chronicle rep, Anna-Lisa Sandstrum, was there, and it was the first time I’d met her and Sherri, so I was a little nervous. After we presented the book, I remember standing in the lobby with with Sherri and Anna-Lisa. We asked how many books were being printed and Sherri and I were both shocked when she told us the impressively high number. She gave us a serious look and said, “You guys, this is going to be a very big seller.” It was my first clue that there might be something special about this book.

What bedtime book did you love as a child?
Sherri: Always, and any time of day, Virginia Lee Burton’s, The Little House. During the holidays, I was obsessed with Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree: “Oh, wasn’t it grand to have a tree, Exactly like Mr. Willowby?” 🙂

Tom: Pagoo, by Holling C. Holling and Lucille Holling.

Have you had any fun times on a train?
Sherri: When I was five, my aunt and uncle took me, along with my two cousins, from Chicago to New York on an Amtrak sleeper car. It was MAGICAL! I remember cuddling on the bunk, the fancy breakfast in the dining car with the white tablecloths and china, and that our shoes, which we placed in a box in the wall, were shined when we woke up in the morning.

Tom: When I was ten years old, I took a train (by myself!) from my uncle’s farm town in northern Illinois to our home in Wisconsin. Traveling a hundred miles on a train by myself was a great adventure, made better by the fact that my uncle bought me a foot-long hot dog just before I boarded the train. I remember watching the countryside whiz by, with a basket full of fresh carrots by my side and that big hot dog to munch on all the way home.

What’s the funniest thing a child has said to you at a school or bookstore event?
Sherri: I’m always asked how old I am, and I’m always truthful: 29.

Tom: “How do you make your hair two colors at once?” (a reference to my the ever-increasing gray).

Share your space! Where do you do your work?
Sherri: This is my current office, which my husband and I share. We’re in the process of moving to a new home and can’t wait to set up my new space!

Tom: Here’s where you can find me most days… Notice the array of mediums I’m using, in hopes that one of them will bow to my will.

I keep my current favorite books on a rolling cart for quick access. Oliver Jeffers is always on the cart.

Scooter, reviewing sketches.

You can have too many books for your bookshelves, but you can’t have too many books.

I love visits from other book creators. Here, Andrea Beaty and Carolyn Crimi do their best to look like serious authors.

Rough sketches and a “model” for Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site

Everyone needs heroes – these are mine. (the signature was given under protest) Ted “Dr. Seuss” Geisel, Judy Blume and Maurice Sendak.

Thanks, Sherri and Tom!

For the fans who always want to keep their favorite train or truck close by, give them personalized books and gifts that feature the artwork from Steam Train, Dream Train and Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site.

Add a photo and a special dedication to each book to make bedtime a little sweeter:

Create a Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site personalized lunchbox, growth chart, placemat, gift card and wall art with a few easy clicks on

Meet Sherri and Tom on tour starting April 16th:


Stephanie Wong
Marketing Manager


1 Comment

  • books April 23, 2013 at 5:30 am

    As other reviewers have stated, it's difficult to create a book to follow one as successful as "Goodnight, Goodnight," so I will cut the author some slack. Having said that, I found "Steam Train, Dream Train" to be very disappointing. The first thing I noticed when I got the book was that the pages are very thin — not quite "newspaper" thin, but certainly not anywhere near the sturdy pages of "Goodnight." So I found myself constantly licking my finger to flip pages, which, of course, caused weird pauses in the reading. However, that was a minor annoyance compared to the writing itself.


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