Cordell Barker adapted by Sarah Howden
This book, in graphic novel format is an adaption by children’s book author Sarah Howden, of Cordell Barker’s 2009 animated film of the same name.
It begins with a cow strolling on a railway track along which a passenger train is speeding. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
The engineer, or Captain as he likes to be called, is distracted by a fuzzy object that has been found by the Fireman and belongs to the Lady. Keen to impress her, the engineer shuts the fireman up and fusses over the dog only to receive a bite on his finger.
The train continues dashing along the tracks now out of control. The fireman is concerned – where is the Captain? But nobody else is bothered. The fuel gauge is dangerously low: the passengers provide alternatives to coal; the train climbs
and slows …
Tension builds and builds; the Captain reappears
and saves the day – or does he?
What you get out of this allegorical tale depends considerably on what you bring to it and with re-readings new understanding emerges. Assuredly though it’s full of action and wry humour, and at least it appears there might be one happy ending.
That though, won’t save everyone – for that, collective love is required and as Auden said in September 1,1939, ultimately ‘ We must love one another or die.’