Blue Train, Green Train

Claire is obsessed with Thomas the Train. As Grace would say, “Le encanta!”

For example, I bought Claire some new Thomas the Train cups. Now whenever I make her a drink, Claire ask for her new cups by name, “Thomas cup! Thomas cup!” Then she will look at the cups and recite the name of the trains over and over…Thomas, Henry, James. This is often punctuated by a loud drawn out, “Thoommas!”

For the most part, this Thomas obsession is harmless. But now it is encroaching on our bedtime reading choices. We have started asking Claire which book she would like to read, and every night she quickly says, “Thomas book!” meaning her little board book entitled Blue Train, Green Train. It is great to see Claire so enthusiastic about reading and what not, but Kit and I have come to loath that damn Thomas book.

Our dislike is not just due to boredom or repetition; we can read something like There’s a Wocket in my Pocket all night. The real problem here is that Blue Train, Green Train is just a terrible book. It is supposed to be a rhyming sing-song type of book, but the rhythm jumps all over the place, and it is very jarring to read. Here is a sample.

Unload the blue bikes,
red wagons, orange trikes!
Unload the new toys
for happy little girls and boys!

Down goes the yellow sun.
Blue train Thomas' day is done.
Home now to the Shed.
"Peep!  Peep!"  The Shed is where
Thomas can sleep.

Well done, blue train.
Have fun, green train.

Up peeps the white moon.
Green train starts soon.
"Peep!  Peep!"  Clickety-clack!
Green train Percy on the track.

Load up all the mail
and unload along the rail.

I picked this book because it has a variety of things for Claire to look at and name, like blue bikes, red wagons, and orange “trikes.” Fortunately Claire does seem to be warming up to other books with lots of stuff to look at, such as the terrific Carl the Dog books. One great thing about the Carl books is that they have almost no words.

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