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Poppins Book Nook for April: Around the World in 80 Days

Welcome back to the Poppins Book Nook virtual book club. The theme for this month is “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” and we chose the classic Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne for this month’s selection. This classic book is one of my favorite adventure novels, and we were very excited to explore it together.


There are a couple of different means of travel discussed in the book, trains and steamboats, both of which are powered by steam engines. Because my sons are inquisitive about how things work, we decided that this month, rather than a craft, our main project would be to do a little research to find out exactly how a steam engine operates.

I designed a simple drawing, based on a train engine, which I then put onto a notebooking page so that the boys could write all about the inner workings of a steam engine. Click the graphic below to download the notebooking page!


The best resource we found for learning how a train’s steam engine works is this Locomotive Engine animation and information page from Animated Engines. (There are a lot of different animations on this site, so plenty of great information here!) The boys really enjoyed the site, and with the easy explanations, they were able to record their findings on their notebooking pages.

Here are a few other sites with great information:

Steam Engines:

A Brief History of the Steam Engine

Steam Engine History at


History of the Railroad: Inventor George Stephenson – this site is full of information about different types of trains, and even has some virtual tours of museums and railways!

History of Railway Innovations

Transportation History: The Steam Locomotive

Railroad History Timeline


The History of Steamboats at

The Belle of Louisville – read about the history of the oldest operating steamboat in the world (100 years old this year!)

John Fitch: builder of first steam-powered boat

Robert Fulton: producer of the first commercially successful steamboat


Our absolute favorite is this video of a steam engine made entirely out of glass! You can see all the components in operation. So cool!

Steam Engine Drives a Revolution

Steam Train Compilation

Steam Engine History

I hope you enjoy some of these resources as much as we did. We had a great time sharing this month’s reading selection and learned a lot about steam engine operation and history.


Poppins Book Nook main image 2014 - 2015

Please stop by to meet this year’s other co-hosts of the Poppins Book Nook:

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God’s Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy’s Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy’s Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for Learning ~ Ever After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom’s Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A “Peace” of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids

Clip Art by Melon Headz

Be sure to check out Poppins Book Nook and follow on Facebook and Pinterest!

Link up your magical “Planes, Trains, & Automobiles” book fun below!


Poppins Book Nook Giveaway!

Poppins Book Nook Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a Fort Magic Kit!  With Fort Magic you can bring all of the planes, trains, automobiles, and anything else your child can think of from your storybooks to life to interact with, play with, and make reading fun. The possibilities are only limited by your child’s imagination. Jump into a world of books today with Fort Magic! You can read a review of Fort Magic HERE.


The winner must reside within the United States. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook, in partnership with the Fort Magic. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

Click HERE for the Rafflecopter giveaway!


7 responses »

  1. That’s a lot of great information about trains!

  2. Steam engines are fascinating! This is a great drawing, thanks for sharing!

  3. Great list of resources! I can’t wait until my daughter’s old enough to read the “classics”! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Poppins Book Nook Topic for May | Our Simple Kinda Life

  5. This is a great resource for anyone with a child that likes trains.
    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!


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