Reading this over and over with our 2 year old. Does he like it because he likes trains, or does he like trains because of books like this? Whatever the case, Big Blue Train is fun. From a parent's point of view - it's possible to read again and again without becoming sick of it (only just beginning to realise how important this is). It's well-written - reading aloud is a pleasure, with a good rhythm and clever rhymes: "Sorry, camel - there's no room for another mammal". The one thing I would have liked - every now and again, train noises are woven into the rhyme - I'd have liked to repeat these more (and, in fact, I do).
The story is fun too - it may be a fantastical train ride, but it's very clear that the children in the story are constructing it from the toys around them - hopefully encouraging the readers to use their imagination too.
I wouldn't have said that I was a fan of the illustration style, but it's beginning to win me over; there's a lot more expression and enjoyment in the illustrations than I would have expected.
We've just bought Big Red Bath on the back of this, which is also good. The rhythm and words in the first half have the edge, I think, but it seems to flow slightly less well after that - I prefer Big Blue Train, as it seems to keep up its pace all the way through.
This edition is the hard cover "baby" edition - although we started off with the full size softcover from the library. It's a nice size, seems durable, and the glossy finish means the illustrations leap off the page.