Epic Adventures

Epic Adventures
Sam Sedgman, illustrated by Sam Brewster
Macmillan Children’s Books

Tickets ready! Sam Sedgman, co-writer of the Adventures on Trains fiction stories, turns his attention to capturing that same sense of excitement as he invites readers aboard twelve iconic trains to undertake railway journeys through some thirty four different countries and six continents.

For each journey, he and illustrator Sam Brewster, conjure up for the reader some of the history, culture and wildlife of the countries visited or passed through. Such is his enthusiasm for the subject that I will now seriously consider, when I plan my next trip to Amsterdam (one of my very favourite cities in the world) the possibility of travelling the 355 km. not by plane but through the Channel tunnel on the Eurostar.

While going from Kolkata to Darjeeling, if you change at New Jalpaiguri Junction, you can take a trip on the ‘toy train’ that uses the narrow gauge mountain railway. Or maybe you’d rather have An African Adventure, savouring the sights from Dar Es Salaam to Cape Town and imagine being on safari in Botswana en route.

By contrast you’ll definitely need to wear your thermals if you take the sleeper train from Stockholm on a journey to the remote Norwegian town of Narvik, that will take 19 hours and make eighteen stops.You might even think about sampling some warm reindeer stew as the train nears the Arctic Circle –

think I’d stick to anticipating the appearance of the Northern Lights and pass on that stew.

Informative and filled with that special sense of wonder, the illuminative narrative – verbal and visual really makes you want to try some of those journeys for real.

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