Created by Karen Blair
Reviewed by Zewlan Moor
This is a perfect picture book by experienced creator, Karen Blair, illustrator of With Nan and Puddle Jumpers.
The rhyming text is a delight to read, from the first moment of being drawn in:
We’re at the park.
Time to unpack.
What can you hear?
to meeting the drivers:
checking the track.
Drivers are ready.
The cover is bright and attractive, with spot gloss over the miniature trains and people. A map of the miniature railway park adorns both sets of matte endpapers. Both of these features will appeal to young fingers exploring the book.
The rest of the pages are glossy and colourful and show scenes of the steam trains, drivers and picnicking families from different vantage points. Many of these are child’s eye views, which complement the child-centred text. Others are interesting aerial perspectives from bridges in the park. They might remind the child reader of the toy railway tracks on their floor at home, except with oversized people on top!
After all the excitement of the train ride, there is a cute twist that will appeal to all Australian parents and grandparents of a certain age. Perhaps one of our most iconic trains, from the Australian Women’s Weekly Children’s Birthday Cake Book, makes a cameo appearance for afternoon tea. Choo-choo! Or should I say chew-chew?