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3 Great Railway Books for Kids

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Railways and train journeys have long been featured in stories for Children and adults - in the early days as terrifying symbols of a new modern world and later as misty eyed nostalgic relics.

We’ve talked before about our favourite Steam locomotive movies and books so today it’s the turn of notable novels featuring Steam locomotives for children and young people.

image credit: Vicki_B

The Little Train by Graham Greene

Whilst the most obvious steam locomotive books for children remain Thomas the Tank Engine, another one that I have fond memories of is famous thriller writer Graham Greene’s “The Little Train”.

Written in between Brighton Rock and The Third Man, The Little Train is part of a 4 book series including The little Fire Engine, The little Horse and The Little Steam Roller and follows the adventures of the afore mentioned Little train who finds themselves going on a journey to the big, scary city and back again.

Originally published in 1946 the charming illustrations by Edward Ardizonne (an English painter, print-maker and war artist, and the author of books himself) weren’t added until many years later in 1974.

Locomotive by Brian Floca

From a purely fictional story to fictionalised documentary look locomotives and rail travel in 1860’s America - Brian Floca’s award winning book Locomotive features beautiful illustrations and text which make the journey come alive.

A follow up to Floca’s equally compelling book Moonshot about the Apollo 1 mission, Locomotive is understandably much more down to earth, following a family’s journey in 1869 across America from Omaha to Sacramento featuring suitably epic double page spreads to show off the epic American landscape and engine itself.

Around the World in 80 Days

One of Jules Verne’s most loved novels, Around the World in 80 Days was first published in 1873 and follows the adventures of Phileas Fogg and his French valet Passepartout trying to win £20,000 bet to go round the world in 80 days.

The book has been adapted several times for film and TV, most recently on the BBC starring David Tennant (People my age might also remember the cartoon version that was on in the 1980’s) but there’s nothing like dipping into the original format for the genuine experience!

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By Stuart Paterson at 7 Feb 2022, 00:00 AM