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RS Reviews: Henry the Green Engine - A Train Full Of Memories

Henry The Green Engine

Reviewed by Skarlouie

At the age of two I was christened. Many people bought me gifts, keepsakes, clothes, etc. But one of my mum’s friends bought me a gift I still have today. It was the railway series by the Rev.W. Awdry. I loved this big book and took it everywhere I went. But there was one book I remember very well for many reasons. Henry the green engine had sparked my imagination as a child because most of the stories in this book were simple yet elegantly portrayed in a wonderful context.

However as I have got older, I have read other stories from the other books. Such as “Enterprising Engines” and “Small Railway Engines” I didn’t really read these ones as a child because I wasn’t able to understand them, because I was so young at the time. However, something with Henry, the green engine aided me in the right direction. My parents would take it in turns to read the stories from the book. My mum always seemed to make “The Flying Kipper” so magical to me. I had originally watched the television series, but my mum seemed to make it come off the television screen and into our house. She would sometimes demonstrate with my ERTL model which I loved. My Dad whenever he read “Henry’s Sneeze” it made me laugh when younger. He again seems to make the part when Henry sneezed seemed real.

There is one memory that the book makes me remember as soon as I read it. Was when I was four, I was in a music video. (Over The Rainbow by Cliff Richard) When between takes my mum again would read me all the stories from Henry the green engine. I remember her reading ‘Coal’ to me. As soon as I see the picture of Henry outside the shed it takes me back to those moments in the studio when I was four years old.

The Illustrations that went along with these books also set off my imagination as I was getting older, I would look through the book and try and remake the images in the books with My ERTL’s which brought the small little stories of Henry the green engine into my little hands. After this I broke a couple ERTL Henry toys by pulling the face off to make a sad face for him. I was fed up with a happy expression being on his face when he had crashed!

The Character of Henry I could relate to and still can. When I was growing up, I was a clumsy child so whenever I bumped into things I would think of “The Flying Kipper” which would make me smile, and I also thought about “Henry’s Sneeze”. If someone ever hit me or said something horrible, I would think of what Henry did, and did something by either telling a teacher or do something back.

The story of “Henry’s Sneeze” shows morals which I live by today. An eye for an eye type philosophy. For example, when a few boys dropped a few stones on his train, he didn’t just go and grumble about it. He did something back, he sneezed on them. This stopped them from ever dropping stones on him again. This story has helped me as I have grown up and I still love it from when I was small.

Henry the Green Engine showed a period in Henry’s life (With the exception of Percy and the trousers) which I see now looking back on it, there was him growing up, we have him in “Coal” with his firebox problem but he overcame it. “The Flying Kipper” He crashed but got back up and carried on. In “Gordon’s Whistle” Henry gets teased by Gordon but karma teaches him. Finally, in “Henry’s Sneeze” which shows the morals of Henry with an Eye for an Eye.

To conclude. Henry the Green Engine was a book I loved as a child. For the illustrations, the story, the way it was read to me and all the memories holds to me now as a young teenager.



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