Archive for January 9th, 2014

by Sam Juliano

Trains have rivaled dinosaurs and bears as a subject of adoration among the youngest children spanning back decades and continuing all the way up to the present day.  The Rev. W. Audrey’s beloved Thomas the Tank Engine continues its popularity among the pre-schoolers, while The Little Engine Who Could is a bonafide classic in the choo choo literature.  Chris Van Allsburg’s Caldecott Medal winner and holiday masterpiece offers up a train like no other, one shrouded in mystery that scales the outer reaches of the imagination.  Donald Crews’ Caldecott honor winning Freight Train remains a popular counting and color identification picture book.  More recently Jason Carter Eaton and John Rocco’s How to Train a Train, Elisha Cooper’s Train and Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld’s Stream Train, Dream Train have wowed their target audience and book critics.  Moreover, in the popular culture trains have served as the setting for some of our popular novels (i.e  Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express and Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, and films such as Buster Keaton’s The General and more contemporary movies like Runaway Train and The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3.  With such a fascination with this unique mode of transportation it is no wonder that baby boomer boys and even some girls considered Lionel trains as the most desirable yuletide gifts. (more…)

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