Frye Families: Milo Imagines the World

Small Frye is a free monthly program for preschoolers and their caregivers. If you are not able to attend, you can check back here every month during the school year for a different artmaking activity inspired by the story. To learn more about the program, including how to register, visit our program page.    

By Lynda Belt

In April, we read Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson.

Watch the video and reflect on the story with your child using the questions below.

Milo, a young boy, embarks on a long subway ride with his older sister. As they travel, Milo observes the diverse faces around him, each person carrying their own stories and emotions. To pass the time, Milo sketches pictures of these fellow passengers, imagining the lives they lead.


What is happening in the story?

What kinds of emotions does Milo feel while he is on the train?

What does Milo do while he is on the train?

Have you ever been on a train? Where did you travel to?

What sorts of things do you like to imagine?

Crafting materils including construction paper, glue, colored sharpies, and scissors


  • Provided train templates for engine car and passenger car
  • Construction paper in several colors
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Crayons, markers, colored pencils, or other coloring tools
Printed train illustration templates and crafting supplies

Passenger car:

  1. Ask your Small Frye which colors they would like to use for the windows and wheels of the passenger car. Referring to the template, trace and cut the shapes of the windows and wheels (four of each) using the chosen colors of construction paper.
  2. Trace and cut the shape of the body of the passenger car on a separate sheet of construction paper.

Train Engine car:

  1. Ask your Small Frye which colors they would like to use for the window, snowplow, smokestack stripes, and wheels of the engine car. Trace and cut the shapes using the chosen colors of construction paper.
  2. Trace the shape of the engine car on another sheet of construction paper and cut it out.
Colorful trains made of construction paper
  1. Glue the windows and wheels onto the passenger car.
  2. Glue the window, smokestack details, wheels, and snowplow shapes onto the engine car.
  3. Next, in the windows of the two cars, draw and color pasengers riding on the train. It could be you and your family, train staff, or other people in the community. Are the people smiling? What facial expressions do they have? Are they carrying items such as an umbrella, purse, or backpack? Are they waving? Add these details to your drawing.
Trains made of construction paper and illustrations of passengers

Have fun making this project and enjoy the book Milo Imagines the World!