You've lost, you've lost ...

Pano The Train - Sharon Holaves

One of the things that I like about commenting on these children's books is that not only does it give me the opportunity to update the Goodread's database (and thus get librarian points, not that I suspect they are counting anymore because they used to update the stats on a weekly basis, but they don't seem to have done that for a while) but it also gives me to opportunity to go off on much more of a tangent than many of the other books that I read. It probably has something to do with the fact that with many of the other books that I read I end up sticking much closer to the themes, where as these simple children's books allow me to explore themes such as the development of language.

This is a story about a train that does not listen (and I do remember it as a kid because I liked watching the train trundle down the mountain with its little red cabbose rolling down the other side). As he travels down the mountain all of these people call out 'you've lost, you've lost' and the train does not realise (though we the reader do) that it has nothing to do with a race but the fact that one of his carriages has become unshackled from the train and has going on a trek on its own (only to find itself at the bottom of the hill because this railway only goes in a circle).

I would say that this book teaches us that assumption is the mother of all stuff ups, but while Pano the train does assume some things in this book, it does not result in a monumental stuff up. However it does teach him not to listen to only half of what people are saying (though sometimes it is not possible if you are speeding down a hill because you have a delivery quota that you have to meet in a ridiculously short amount of time that is simply not humanly possible).

There is also a cute little addition to this book which is a form of symbol recognition. It has whistles, which you are supposed to say 'toot, toot', bells which you are supposed to say 'ding, ding' and smoke clouds, which you are supposed to say 'chug, chug'. In a way it helps the child become more connected to the book as they are also participating in reading the book (and also helps them recognise the symbols, and hopefully go on to recognising words).

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/768434349