The Timid Train
Preeti Krishnamurthy
age group: 
5+ yrs
Number of pages: 
Pratham Books
trains timid self esteem
picture book, fiction

A new train rolls out of the railway shed. Overwhelmed by the new experiences, he feels small and helpless. Everything scares him, the barking of dogs, the loud bellow of cows and wide unknown spaces. He wants to linger in the safety of the shed.

However, the day arrives when he has to set off on his maiden journey. He cries out in fright, but surprisingly, it comes out as a sharp whistling sound. A sound that makes the birds perched nearby take flight. Similarly, he succeeds in scaring a big bull lazing on the tracks. When he plunges through a dark fearsome tunnel, he finds it lit up by his bright beams. The littlest train realizes that he had actually made mountains out of molehills. In fact, what he had perceived to be big and scary were in reality just as nervous and scared as him. And that the power to overcome his fears lay within himself. From that day on, he chugs off confidently everywhere.

For a young child learning to read, the book is a bit text heavy. But nevertheless, it is a useful addition to the book-shelf, as a timid child will find the story comforting and empowering and help him rationalize his fears. 

The child-friendly illustrations with clear lines in pastels add to the charm of the book.

Reviewed by Shamim Padamsee