This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Saturday Rave: The Three Railway Engines by Rev W Audry.

'Once upon a time there was a little engine called Edward. He lived in a shed with five other engines. They were all bigger than Edward and boasted about it. "The driver won't choose you again," they said" '

That's the very beginning of the long series of books by Rev W Audry (and later by his son Christopher) that have become most famous for a character not appearing at all in that first book, Thomas the Tank Engine.

I wasn't a fan of the books when I was young. I thought they were boys' books, and I'm afraid I thought the illustrations old-fashioned and garish.

illustration by C Reginald Dalby

Probably the main reason why I wasn't a fan, though, was that I never actually picked up one of the books. If I had, there would have been no chance at all that I wouldn't have read on to find out what was going to happen to poor Edward.

For those of a nervous disposition I must say here that the fate of the big and boastful engine Henry is one of the most truly shocking things I have ever read.

As a last recommendation, the books, as I said, were devised by Rev W Audry. That W. It stands for Wilbert. How could anyone resist them once they know that?

Word To Use Today: engine. This word comes from the Old French engin, from the Latin ingenium, nature, talent, ingenious contrivance, which is related to gignere, to produce.


  1. We never had the books in N.Z. when I was growing up.
    I feel so deprived, as I loved to travel by train, and all things to do with them. I would've loved Thomas, Edward, etc.

    Oh my gosh - I went looking for more info on Henry, and there's a Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia!

    Thomas the Tank Engine Wikia

    1. Good grief, so there is: and it's got 5202 pages!