Monday, March 7, 2011

Little Blacknose, by Hildegarde Hoyt Swift

Once again, first impressions threw me off. With many of these older books, I know nothing about them but the title, so I have to imagine the summary on my own. I'm usually so, so wrong. As in the case of Little Blacknose, who I'd imagined to be a horse.

Little Blacknose is, in fact, a new train, and the very first steam engine to come into New York state to replace the horses that used to pull the rail cars. We see Blacknose come to initial awareness after his construction, unsure of what he is and then, in transit to the station that will be his home, itching to move freely along the rails.

When he initially arrives, he's snubbed by the horses, but soon proves himself by being so much faster and stronger. Eventually, he is replaced by a newer, stronger steam engine and sulks briefly before saving the day after all (the new engine had a malfunctioning part and was unable to carry supplies on its inaugural run).

Eventually Blacknose is placed into storage and collects dust for several decades until he is restored and placed into a museum.

Nothing too too thrilling, but would make a fun readaloud for a little one with an interest in trains.

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