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‘Victoria’s Busy Day’ by Wendy Wakelin is a charming picture book that evoked memories of Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder stories. The cover drew me in with the bright colours, endearing faces on the engines and cute animals added extra detail.
Taking us through a day in the busy life of Traction engine Victoria, who still manages to have time for fun by making people (and animals) jump by sounding her whistle. I think young readers are sure to have a giggle at this page. Maybe Victoria is a preserved traction engine? We are introduced to plenty of other engines that I’m sure will have their own books in the future. At the back of the book there’s information and a detailed diagram about how steam engines work, which will be of interest for any budding engineer or historian. A simple and charming picture book which I’m sure will evoke nostalgia from anyone reading it with their little ones and delight and interest plenty of young readers.
Victoria is looking forward to a day in the sun, helping Mr Andrews, the farmer, to bring in the grain from the fields. She is excited to see her friend Albert, who is also helping with the job. But a surprise is in store when Victoria discovers something unexpected in the barn! What will it be, and how will Victoria react?
This series of children's books is bringing Britain's steam-powered past to life, and delighting readers of all ages. Victoria's Torton Tales tell the story of a road-going, steam-powered traction engine, who works in and around the fictional English town of Torton. Through her adventures, Victoria the traction engine helps her friends to achieve their goals, as well as showing what a traction engine does and how it works.
Created by Hampshire-based children's author Wendy Wakelin, Victoria's Torton Tales are huge hits with children aged 3 to 9 years old. Older generations also enjoy reading the stories to younger family members. The books create a pastoral image of Britain from the past, bringing children's imaginations into play and helping them understand the world as it was before the advent of today's technology. The themes of friendship, doing your best and helping one another also run through each story.
With loveable characters and charming settings, it is little wonder that these books are proving so popular. Author Wendy said: "Parents and grandparents alike have commented that their children love these books. I'm delighted."
These delightful books feature beautiful, colourful illustrations and come in large format, making it easier for children to read them with parents or grandparents. The sweet world of Torton can be brought to life when reading becomes a family event, helping children to discover a love of books from an early age.
Victoria's Torton Tales become even more appealing when you learn that some of the characters are real! The character, Victoria, is based on a real steam traction engine named Victoria, which was built in 1886, and originally owned by the real-life Mr Seward in Hampshire, UK. Author Wendy Wakelin and her family have owned the real Victoria since 2002, and today she makes guest appearances at steam events in the UK, bringing delight across the generations. This offers fans of the books the opportunity to meet the real Victoria, transporting them to the world of Torton and bringing the stories to life even more!
With several successful children's book series concentrating on elements of the past, Victoria's Torton Tales builds on this tradition, introducing young readers to the world of steam traction engines, which worked on roads and farms, rather than the railway. This enables the author to position Victoria in a wider variety of settings, helping children to gain a better understanding of the past while still being able to relate to the characters in the present. The timeless themes of friendship and the importance of trying hard are relevant to readers of all ages, and new readers are consistently discovering and enjoying this joyful series.
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