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THE ENGINE THAT WANTED TO TRAVEL TO ROME
By: SHALEV, Meir
Picture books, 2015
Bestseller since publication
In light of the recent successes of books like Brian Floca’s LOCOMOTIVE, and Sherri Duskey Rinkey and Tom Lichtenfeld’s STEAM TRAIN, DREAM TRAIN, THE ENGINE THAT WANTED TO TRAVEL TO ROME is a bestselling picture book by Meir Shalev. Much like THOMAS THE TRAIN, this is the story of a small, local, Sicilian locomotive with big dreams.
Day in, day out, a Sicilian train shuttles passengers in Sicily to the port and back. But the little engine dreams of travelling to Rome. He is encouraged by Mt. Etna, the volcano he passes each day on his treks around the island, to follow his dreams. One day, he very quietly attaches his chain to the larger engine from Rome. When he arrives in Rome he is greeted by a giant engine from Paris, an enormous engine from Berlin, a massive engine from Moscow, and a mighty engine from Barcelona, who all invite him to visit their countries too -- but all the Sicilian engine wants is to see Rome. He visits the Colosseum, makes a wish at the Trevi Fountain, and eats three flavors of ice cream. When it’s time to go home, the stationmaster is angry. But all the Sicilian engine wanted was to see Rome… He offers to take passengers and cargo back to Sicily, and the stationmaster approves. Mt. Etna can’t wait to hear of his travels, and the Sicilian engine promises that the next time he goes, he’ll bring back three flavors of ice cream for the volcano too!