Louise Lawerence Devine
Rand McNally, 1950
My son received this in the way that is always the coolest when getting a vintage kids' book. It was a gift from a 84-year-old mother, zoinked from her own child's way-back-when collection.
Those of you not familiar, the books in Rand McNally's Junior Elf series are the best if for no other reason than they are small enough to fit a handful in your purse (or man bag) for idle hands to seize when mommy/daddy has business to take care of, say at the grocery store or waiting in line at the post office. Not to mention that they have a cool retro look and all the titles are pretty silly and fun.
This story is a sweet one and tells the tale of heartache in the fast lane. Benji is the little local train who likes to go slow... taking time to smell the flowers and fall in love with the landscape.
Benjie Engie was a locomotive with a coal car, two passenger cars,
and a baggage car fastened on behind.
And unlike all the other trains Benjie had known, he didn't have a
single problem in the world.
... that is until he is fitted with a new high-speed engine, and life becomes a literal blur that is depressing and joyless. Fear not, this is the Junior Elf world, so all ends with a wink and a smile.
I found this great shop on Etsy that has a nice collection of vintage kid's books reasonably priced, including the aforementioned. Check it out!