Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thomas and his enemies!

I don’t know what to do about Abhay's fixation with Thomas and Friends! The talking engines are everywhere! I cannot stand them any longer!!! They have taken over my son’s life, who now calls himself Edward (a blue engine numbered two from “Thomas and Friends”). His best friend in school calls himself Gordon (another character from the same animated series)! If you had a daughter, you are expected to know the names of all the Disney princesses by heart. Similarly, my son's general knowledge quiz for me is on the names of various engines from the Thomas & Friends series. Abhay’s obsession is such that now my parents also rattle off the names of the engines, their colors and respective numbers! Edward, the blue engine is Abhay's signature sketch on each of his drawings. He not only wants to watch Thomas and Friends while having lunch, but is so influenced by the train series that every morsel of food that goes into his mouth represents a certain engine number and its capacity. Not making sense? Every day during lunch, I watch helplessly as my son says – “1st bite is for Thomas the tank engine and so a small bite, 2nd bite is for Edward which is a medium size bite….No. 4 being Gordon, the big engine and so a big bite!!!” All I can say is… HELP!!!!

So in an attempt to enlighten my son about other trains besides Thomas, I read two books regarded as some of the best children’s books of 2010. The first book was “My Little Train” by Satomi Ichikawa, a nice little book on a train that takes its heterogeneous passengers to their respective destinations. The little train chugs along the tunnel, over the bridge and across the hill helping the duck get off at the pond, monkey at the forest, bear at the mountain and lastly a baby kangaroo into its mother’s pouch. An ideal book for toddlers and perpetual wannabe toddlers in love with trains!

Subway” by Christoph Niemann is a book on the lifeline of New York city – its subway system. Abhay enjoyed this book as it reminded him of our trip to NYC last summer when the subway was our main form of commute around the Big Apple. If you’ve been to NYC or live near any big city, you’d know how kids are fascinated by the trains running underneath the city through their dark tunnels. In the book, a father takes his children for a ride on the A line and then F line, then No. 1, 2, 7 , J and Q lines as you see the different lines merge and separate and then merge again just as in a New York metro map. As the day long expedition beneath the city of lights ends, the kids are in no mood get back on top. Just like Abhay for whom the best part of New York city was what lay underground and not above ground.

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