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Duffy's grumpy day: an improbable adventure
on 24 September 2012
Benedict Blathwayt's Little Red Train books are a favourite in our household. However, Duffy seems to have gone off the rails in this book - losing his cool when faster trains honk at him to speed up "yelling smoke and smuts to you!" and "hissing nuts and bolts to you!". In children's books we can suspend reality to some degree, but this is pushing perhaps a little too far e.g. he takes the steam train from the UK through the Channel Tunnel and travels to France, Spain, Italy, Scandinavia across on a ferry back to the UK in one day, without noticing that he left the UK. In the little Red Train books Duffy is a kind and generous role model, but not so much in this book with his grumpiness and mindless following of rules i.e. "he knew he had done his best and obeyed signals when they were green and stopped when they were red" despite a detour around Europe! Still, the illustrations are glorious and my boys adore it even though they call it "Dufffy's grumpy day"!