Mungo Monkey Goes On a Train by Lydia Monks, published by Egmont

Earlier this year we took our two daughters on holiday to the beautiful North Norfolk Coast. A memorable highlight was an enjoyable half hour al fresco ride on the Wells to Walsingham miniature steam train (pictured above – it was May, and happily blankets were provided!).

Our elder daughter, who had recently turned three, was very excited by the whole experience including buying the tickets, hearing the train’s very loud “toot toot” and wearing her train driver’s cap bought for her by granny.

It’s little wonder that the bright, sparkly and joyful tale of Mungo Monkey Takes the Train became a favourite read soon after. With a superb combination of an easy read narrative, highly engaging illustrations and clever page flaps, this is a delight to read for all involved.

Recently, after our daughters’ first ‘proper’ train journey from our home town to London, the tale of Mungo’s locomotive adventure was requested a record seven nights in a row.

The pages are full of bright colours and charming details, with a bounty of page flaps that cleverly add to the fun. Our favourite scenes include the dark tunnel where four flaps reveal the creepy crawlies hiding in the dark; the triple fold flap that flips up three times to incrementally take the train “up”, “up”, “up” the hill; and storefront of the shop at the top of the hill that lifts up to reveal its wonderful wares, including ice creams, souvenirs and outdoor toys.

As the story is of Mungo and his sister Mimi on a day-trip with their granny and grandad, it serves as a lovely depiction of a grandparents and grandchildren relationship, joining other great options such as Grandad’s Island and Snow, reviewed already.

All in all, this is a first class ride!