Slow Train to Oxmox

Overview

Meet the little engine that couldn't - not without everybody's help.

Here comes Edwin Blink, rushing to catch the fast train to Oxmox. But there sits the Slow Train to Oxmox, just waiting to catch someone like Edwin! Through the mist and mud, into snarly thickets and flocks of geese, the Slow Train pokes its way. Edwin is furious at the delays, but soon his anger is replaced by fascination as he watches the passengers pitch in to help the train overcome obstacles. Before long, ...

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Overview

Meet the little engine that couldn't - not without everybody's help.

Here comes Edwin Blink, rushing to catch the fast train to Oxmox. But there sits the Slow Train to Oxmox, just waiting to catch someone like Edwin! Through the mist and mud, into snarly thickets and flocks of geese, the Slow Train pokes its way. Edwin is furious at the delays, but soon his anger is replaced by fascination as he watches the passengers pitch in to help the train overcome obstacles. Before long, he's rolling up his sleeves to lend a hand, too - and enjoying the stop-and-go ride more than he ever thought possible.

In his second book, Kurt Cyrus takes his hybrid watercolor style to new heights in pictures rich with color and humorous detail.

Although he starts out in a hurry to reach his destination, Edwin Blink comes to enjoy his unusual trip on a slow train.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
With this story of a hurried man who boards a sluggish train, Cyrus (Tangle Town) conjures the feeling of being unable to escape a bad dream. Corporate drone Edwin Blink is late for work; drizzle blurs his owlish glasses. Rather than board the sleek purple express train, he inadvertently boards a coach towed by an algae-green steam engine: "The wrong platform. The wrong train." Pinch-faced passengers fill the seats, and a few farm animals stand in the aisles, but Edwin is oblivious until the conductor announces, "Slow train to Oxmox.... With stops at Loblolly and Twigtwist. And who knows, maybe a few other places." Edwin's anxiety builds as the anachronistic train stops for a flock of geese, gets stuck in the mud and wrestles through a thicket of branches and roots. ("No one comes this way anymore but us. I guess we've been forgotten," the conductor explains.) Cyrus's images, tinged with gray and yellow, heighten the time-warp sensation. The sky changes color, the ground is insubstantial as quicksand, and no houses or trees can be seen to either side of the tracks. This doesn't scare the passengers, who hop out to push the train and cheerfully pronounce, "This little train always gets us there, even if we have to drag it. We'll all pull together!" Yet the claustrophobic, Sartre-like 'No Exit' ambience clashes with the optimistic tone. Edwin learns about cooperation and helps keep the train moving, but the travelers never arrive at a destination. This volume is an atmospheric tour de force, even though its attempts at lightness get clouded by a surreal haze.
Children's Literature - Emily Ferren
Edwin Blink rushes to catch the fast train to Oxmox but ends up on the slow train. As the train s-l-o-w-l-y goes through mud, geese, broken trestles, and snarled trees, Edwin begins to enjoy the trip and thinks he may have taken the right train after all. The illustrations, which almost appear surrealistic, contain plenty of humor and delight.
Robin Tzannes
[The] drawings alone make this book worthwhile. Young readers may even enjoy the story, not caring that it doesn't make sense. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
When Edwin Blink misses the fast train to Oxmox he's forced to take the slow train instead. Never has Edwin experienced a ride as pokey as this one. When geese cross the track, the whole train stops, allowing the passengers to lift the track so the birds can pass underneath. Just as the train begins to build steam, it plows into a huge gloppy mud puddle. Each further delay sends Blink into an anxious tirade, but a loop-de-loop through Twigtwist and an aquatic plunge in Dip Creek eventually convince him to pitch right in and put his skills as a mechanical engineer to good use. At the book's end, Oxmox is still down the tracks a piece, but Blink had finally learned to go with the flow. Cyrus wonderfully conveys the difficulties the train encounters; his lines and color revel in the dents of the train, a tangle of twigs, and lumpy chocolate muck. The plot is a little more Zen-like than his last frenetic book, but like the train ride itself, offers plenty to mull over en route to the ending.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780374370473
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Publication date: 8/20/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 6 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.39 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.47 (d)

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