The Writing Process Behind… Trains, Trains, Trains: a Guest Post by Donna David


You know that kids ADORE transport. Vehicles of all kinds. And. They are going to adore Trains, Trains, Trains! from Donna David and Nina Pirhonen. It’s a joyous picture book filled with gorgeous rhymes and… trains, of course. Lots of them. I love the encouragement to count, and the ability to interact with both the text and the artwork. Trains, Trains, Trains! is interactive fun for all little ones.


How did it come about? I asked author Donna David to pop into MyBookCorner to tell us all about it…

I’m lucky to have a lot of children in my life and whenever I try to come up with a new book idea, I spend some time in their shoes. What are they fascinated by? What do they talk about? What do they point to or reach for when they don’t yet have vocabulary? So often, the answer is vehicles. Whether that be cars, planes, helicopters, fire engines or bikes, children love them!

And adults do too! How many adults do you know who love flying? Or will stop mid-sentence to admire a passing classic car? Or will brave the wind and rain to watch a vintage train take to the tracks once more? I wanted to write this book for pre-schoolers but also for the adults who read to them.

Once I had the idea for ‘Trains, Trains, Trains!’, I just had to write it. There is something wonderfully rhythmic and hypnotising about the sound an accelerating train makes. I wanted reading the story to mirror this rhythm so experimenting with rhyme and metre came next. It took a few attempts, but I’m so pleased with how it worked out.

When writing a text with such a low word count, every word has to work hard. Young children are joyous individuals to write for, but they’re also the quickest to judge. If a book doesn’t catch their attention instantly, then they’re off! They’re far too busy to spend time reading a book that doesn’t immediately grip them.

Just as important as the words (if not more so) are the illustrations, and I am so thankful to be paired with Nina Pirhonen. Her illustrations are lively, vibrant, exciting and eye-catching. There is something new to spot with every read and I know my toddlers would have looked at this book again and again.


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