The Train to Timbuctoo

September 27, 2017

Oddly, there are several cities named Kalamazoo and at least 2 in the US named Timbuctoo.


Wow. This is one of the most repetitive stories I have ever seen. It's very typical for Margaret Wise Brown. I think I would perform violence on somebody, possibly myself, if I was required to read this on a regular basis, especially out loud. I'm getting real sick of people telling me children learn by repetition. I have ceased to care. Somebody else can read this to my kids. I've got no problem with that. But me? Nah. It would drive me crazy.

It's cute. It's got a lot of cute little vignettes. Lots of noises. I think kids would enjoy it, up until the repetition started to drive them as crazy as it drives me. There's a nice little image with stylistic, interesting, bizarre children hanging out windows that are smaller than their heads, with candy in their way-too-short arms. There's a tiny train and a big train. I don't know why there's a tiny train. There's no story here! Why is there no story?!

It doesn't make any sense! Who decided that children's books didn't have to make any sense? Who decided that children's books could be this inane?

I guess I could understand it if this was a song. It kind of seems like song lyrics. But god, why? Why is this so inane? It's not bad, it's just... not good. And there's absolutely no message here.



Publication Year
  • 1951
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