Percy the Small Engine – Rev. W. Awdry

More in the Series – Railway Series
“More in the Series” scores the other books in a series where one (or more) of the books have made it into the 1001 Books list. Mostly because I’m a bit of a completionist. 

POINTS: 1 out of 10.

Bechdel: 0 points
Variety of characters: 0 points
Good story:  1 point
Discretionary ideological points: 0 points.

Unsurprisingly, this book has no Bechdel pass, and no diversity whatsoever. Annie and Clarabel make an appearance, but they don’t get even the inane dialogue they usually get.

Still, in some ways this is the perfect “Railway Series” book – it’s pretty much all about engines playing tricks on each other, or getting jealous of new outsiders (in the from, this time, of Harold the helicopter. Percy is one of the better characters, in that he’s cheeky and mischievous but not quite as obnoxious about it as, say, James or Gordon. At base, he’s pretty good-humoured, and so the stories in this book reflect that.

But really that’s the best I can say about it. Mostly, it’s just more of the same. Sometimes the engines are good, and Topham Hat shows up to pat them on their metaphorical heads for their obedience; sometimes they are bad and don’t do as they’re told without complaining, and he shows up to scold and punish. Yawn. Next please?

I realise that the appeal is mostly just trains, but man I wish these had better actual stories. My kid still adores them though. So there must be something there. It just utterly eludes me.

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