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Book Club Edition : Grolier (1995)
Originally published as part of The Railway Series (Rev. W. Awdry)
Illustrations : John T. Kenney
Hardcover - 29 pages
Available from 1p on Amazon UK
There is a newer edition from 2004 also available.
@Gallant Old Engine@
This book can be identifed by its red hardcover and Skarloey the engine. This is an old style book from the Thomas series.
Each double page features a colourful picture and a page of wording. The story is mainly about 3 tired engines, Duncan, Skarloey and Rheneas. Duncan cannot be bothered collecting passengers feels undervalued. The passengers are unhappy and say the railway system is bad. Can Skarloey and the controllers convince Duncan that the station and passengers rely on him?
I bought a collection of 30 Thomas books from Grolier last year for my son. I bought them at a carboot sale and paid £7 for the lot which was a steal. My son doesn't have these in his regular collection of books as I feel they are too advanced and special for a toddler to tear when in a strop! We keep ours in the cupboard and bring them out to read together. I feel this collection of books (or individual books) would be appreciated more by an older Thomas fan and they are collectable.
This particular book is presented well and you can tell they are classic Thomas books as the pictures are old fashioned. The illustrations are beautiful and really fit in with the story. They aren't bright and smiley pictures like the more up to date Thomas books - they are detailed and look like water colour type drawings. Some of the background is a little bit hazy but there is a lot of detail on the engines making them more focussed.
@Mummy, Who Is That?@
My son was a little confused as we read this book as he doesn't know the 3 main engines in the story. I can only assume these engines were original engines and not the more modern ones in the show. Each engine in this book is red and my son initially assumed it was James as they look similar to him, The pictures do not appeal to my son as much as a newer Thomas book would.
The story has a nice flow to it though even at 29pages, is still a lot to read as there is quite a bit of wording on each page. The wording is easy to understand and features narration and conversational speech which allows Mummy to put on different voices to reflect the characters. Duncan is a grumpy engine though the book isn't overly serious. It is a light hearted read despite having Duncan complain about not being appreciated.
The story discusses problems that engines have when things do not go to plan. The passengers get annoyed. It shows determination and that if you try your hardest to succeed then people will not be quite as annoyed. It is a nice story which has enough to keep my son and I interested in it whilst we read through it. My son is amused at how grumpy Duncan is and whenever we have read this, he has commented on how much Duncan is like Gordon proving he is familiar with the different traits of the engines.
This is a good book to have in our collection though I do feel it will be more appreciated as my son grows. At 1p from Amazon, it is a bargain or you could look out for the complete set on ebay. It isn't one we would read often nor is it one that my son would flick through alone but it is appreciated.
Recommended - thanks for the reading :)