Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Thomas and Friends: Henry and the Elephant

I know, I know. I've fallen behind on book reviews. We traveled to Chicago for a wonderful baby shower and it seems like I've been in baby room decorating mode ever since. However, I went to the library the other day so have got a fresh batch of books to read and share.

Thomas & Friends: Henry and the Elephant introduced me to another train friend of Thomas. I think I've mentioned how I didn't become familiar with Thomas the Tank until adulthood. Thus, please forgive me as I stumble through the various characters and relationships among Thomas and his friends.

In this story, Thomas has left the train yard leaving friends Henry and Gordon behind. Naturally with one engine fewer, there's more work for those remaining. At first Henry and Gordon are feeling over-worked, but then the circus comes to town! Pushing and pulling circus trains is somehow more enjoyable (we don't get a lot of details on why that's so). Abruptly, the conflict portion of the story begins--there's a blocked tunnel. Workmen enter the tunnel to clear it but are scared away by something...then they turn to Henry. Though Henry is generally scared of tunnel, he dutifully pushes trucks into the tunnel in efforts to clear it...something pushes back! As you may have guessed from the title, it's an elephant. Everyone makes friends and that's a day.

My husband read this one and seemed to like it, although he sprinkled little bits of commentary throughout, e.g. an elephant probably lacks the ability to push a fully-loaded train out of a tunnel, however young the elephant. It was also most peculiar that the tunnel had no illumination. In any event, it's a cute story, filled with bright and colorful illustrations. As an early reader, I'd guess it's suitable for grades 1-3. As a read aloud, it's appropriate for ages 3 and up. Recommended

Source: Library Book

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