Happy Engines Back at Work

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Happy Engines Back at Work (Li'l Great Railroad Series Book 1)

Last Free Dates: 19th Feb 19 to 23rd Feb 19
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...The description reminded me of "Thomas the Tank engine." Then I saw the first page illustrations, making this very hard to rate on its own merits....

Andrew is an engine who works on the OMRR network.

This is aimed at early readers, or possibly to be read with parents. It has simple dialogue, large text with only a couple of sentences on the page, and full colour illustrations. My main problem, and it is one that even children will notice, is that there is no plot. This is very much an introduction to the OMRR railway, but nothing happens. The named characters are limited: there is one, Andrew (the engine). Even the owner does not get a name. I appreciate the author’s intent to fascinate children with trains, as a steam enthusiast myself, and books are a good way to do it but future books would have to expand and name the cast.

The illustrations are full colour, but have some jarring perspective issues, and are watercolour rather than the sharper illustrations most children’s books provide. The formatting is good, although it is odd that the back cover is a scanned image with non-resizing text and the hyperlink is not clickable. There are no typos I spotted, although the spelling is American…

…and to cut to the chase, my problem reviewing this is that it is far too close to the Railway Books for me to review on its own rights, which is why I am not rating it.

When I first saw the description I was reminded of the Railway books by Rev. W. Audrey (also known as Thomas the Tank engine). Then I switched to the first page and blinked. The engines have faces, like Thomas the Tank engine. The owner wears a long black coat and hat. “Li’l Great Railroad Series” is a little close to “The Little Railway Stories”, and I will stop there.

It is a children’s book, should interest young children who like trains, and may really interest American children who want a US version of Thomas.

Rating: Unrated
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