'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Review: Peter's Railway paperback series

When I stumbled across the Peter’s Railway books 18 months ago, I couldn’t believe my luck. My young train enthusiast son wanted to move beyond his Thomas the Tank Engine books, but aside from a few random picture books, the next step seemed to be historical non-fiction books about locomotives and railways. Don’t misunderstand me, he LOVES the non-fiction books, but he missed the fun of reading stories about trains.

Peter’s Railway books were the perfect solution. They combined a fun story with the technical details that so fascinated my son and tales from Grandpa’s years working on the railways. My son loves the story of Peter and his grandfather and the miniature railway they build to connect their two properties in the English countryside. He loves the details about how the track was built and how they overcame obstacles in their path (both physical and otherwise).  He also enjoys the technical information such as details about how the engine works, train/railway definitions and the descriptions of different parts of the track, engine and carriages.

The four original hardback books have now been supplemented with an additional eight Peter’s Railway paperbacks. The books are smaller format and focus on one of the aspects covered in each of the larger hardback books – an adventure story, a technical detail or one of Grandpa’s tales. The titles (with ISBN) are:
  • Little Peter’s Railway Christmas Steam (9780955335952)
  • Little Peter’s Railway Surprise Goods (9780955335969)
  • Peter’s Railway A Bit of Energy (9780955335976)
  • Peter’s Railway A Dark and Stormy Night (9780955335983)
  • Peter’s Railway Now and Then (9781908897008)
  • Peter’s Railway A Big Smellie Bogie (9781908897015)
  • Little Peter’s Railway The Picnic (9781908897022)
  • Peter’s Railway Molten Metal (9781908897039)

Peter’s Railway books are ideal for young children who love trains AND those who feel that they are too grown up for Thomas the Tank Engine stories and are looking for something with more technical details. The publisher is currently looking to bring the books into the Australian market, but for now the best place to purchase them is still the Peter's Railway website (in the UK), where you have the added option of requesting a personalised dedication/signature from the author. The four hardback books are also available, as well as the latest additions to the Peter’s Railway collection, an Activity book and a Peter’s Railway badge.

The Peter’s Railway paperback series are small enough to easily slip into a handbag when you are out and about as well as being the ideal size for small hands to hold. The stories are fun adventures focused on Peter’s railway experiences with his grandfather, nostalgic train tales or an explanation of technical train engineering suited for young readers. We love these stories in our home. We have purchased signed copies (quite possibly the Best Birthday Present Ever!) and have recommended them to many friends with children who love trains.

You can read my review of the original hardback Peter's Railway story here.

Author:  Christopher Vine
Illustrator: John Wardle
Publisher: Christopher Vine, £2.99 RRP
Publication Date:  2011 + 2012
Format:  Softcover
ISBN:  (as above)
For ages:  4+ years
Type: Picture book, junior non-fiction