When a train packed with toys and food for children becomes stranded on the wrong side of the mountain, the toys onboard try to get help from passing trains like the Shiny New Engine and the Big Strong Engine — to no avail.
In contrast to the aptly wintry and languid atmosphere that permeates its pages, this beautifully illustrated book spins an imaginative and heartwarming story about how — instead of holing up somewhere and hibernating — a motley group of animals in the Northern Forest make like migratory birds and escape the bitter cold by catching a special train that will bring them to the Southern Forest.
Little train lovers will be enthralled by The Little Red Caboose, an underdog story about an often-overlooked and unassuming little red caboose (the part of the train that houses accommodation for the crew, and which usually comes last) who becomes an overnight hero when he saves the train from rolling down the mountain with his sheer tenacity.
The first thing that will probably strike you when you pick up Line 135 is its odd size: measuring 19.5cm by 33cm, it’s shorter, and yet, also much wider than most of the other picture books. But don’t let this put you off since there’s a very good reason for the somewhat unwieldy size.
The premise of the book is simple: a girl takes a long train ride from her house in the city to where her grandma lives, out in the countryside. Along the way, she sits by the window to admire the view outside and — as people are wont to do in trains before smartphones and iPads came along — daydream: specifically, about travelling and ‘knowing’ the entire world when she grows up.