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I am trying to identify a childrens train story, probably from the 1940s. The train runs on the fictitious rail line: The Weehawken, Hoboken and Troy.It likes to jump ther track and eventually ends up in a childrens park with flowers in its stackl Any help appreciated.

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"Little Hank" by Alice Sankey, illustrated by Ben Williamson (1948). It's a Whitman Tell-a-Tale book.

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Hank was a happy handcar on the tracks of the Weehawken, Hoboken, and Troy - heard it every day from 1948-1949.

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My Amazon review might be interesting.
What we experience in our childhood is like a lottery, especially the books we meet, and what we remember of them. Often our favourite books from childhood are recalled (perhaps dimly) with great pleasure NOT because they are good books, but simply because they were accidentally what we got from the "lottery of life", and we happened to like whatever we got. That is, we might confuse genuine quality with what is really just the luck of the draw.
I mention this because, amongst the relatively few, treasured books from my own childhood, Alice Sankey's "Little Hank" (Whitman "Tell-a-Tale Books": republished by Golden Press, Sydney: circa 1954), illustrated by Ben Williams, stands out.
Happily my old, battered copy survives. I was able to share it with my own children, and then my grand-children.
I can reread it, as an adult, and compare it, as objectively as possible, with other stories of that era that are better known, and widely accepted as outstanding children's picture-story books.
"Little Hank" is the story of a "happy little handcar" and his two railway workers, Mr McGlincey ("tall and thin") and Mr Blump ("short and wide").

Immediately comparisons spring to mind.
Diana Ross's classic "The Story of the Little Red Engine", illustrated by Leslie Wood:
-- "Sorry to be late ... have to make up for lost time ... dig-a-dig-dig, dig-a-dig-dig ... whoo-eeee!"
"The Little Engine That Could", by "Watty Piper" (pen name of Arnold Munk):
-- "I think I can, I think I can, ..."
The classic Little Golden Book "The Little Red Caboose", by Marian Potter and illustrated by Tibor Gergely:
-- all the children wave and call hello because the Little Red Caboose saved the day!
The tug-boat story, "Little Toot", written and illustrated by Hardie Gramatky: Little Toot saves the big ocean liner during a big storm.
Margaret Wise Brown's classic Little Golden Book free verse story "The Train to Timbuktoo", that actually has TWO trains: one big, the other small.
Another classic Little Golden Book, "Tootle", by Gertrude Crampton, illustrated by Tibor Gergely: Tootle learns to be a good little engine and NOT run off the rails.
The great "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel", written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton.
The Disney Studio cartoon and spin-off Little Golden Book "Donald's Toy Train" -- a Chip and Dale adventure.
The famous early stories about "Thomas the Tank Engine", and other railway friends, by Rev. W.V. Awdrey.
We know these are all good -- classic -- in different ways. Each of them remains in print, and has been loved by generations of children.
In my opinion (which might be skewed by my own luck of the draw) Sankey's "Little Hank" is just as good as any of these.
Why?
There are many attractive features.
The overall format is very similar to the established publishing style of "Little Golden Books", although in the USA Whitman (as far as I know) was a competitor to Western Publishing, and to Gossett (publishers of the imitative "Wonder Book" series). Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and what had been perfected with "Little Golden Books" from the earliest days, works well here.
Ben Williams illustrates the story with a relaxed animated cartoon style, broadly comparable to Gergely, and Wood, Awdrey, and others, and also similar to Disney Studio and Warner Brothers and other cartoon films.
Little Hank has two eyes, a nose, and a wide mouth on his vertical front semi-circle.
Mr McGlincey and Mr Blump have the quality of Laurel and Hardy in their sizes, and simplicity, hearts of gold, and calm humility.
Mr McGlincey wears a battered fedora, a dark waistcoat, a red and white cross-ways striped skivvy, and white jeans, with a red and white polka dot handkerchief in his hip-pocket, and a corncob pipe in his mouth, underneath a scrawny moustache.
Mr Blump wears a small engine-driver's peaked cap on the back of his almost bald chubby round head, a long-ways red and white striped skivvy, and light-blue engine-driver's overalls.
The story opens:
-- "Hank was a happy little handcar who led a straight and narrow life on the track of the Weehawken, Hoboken and Troy railroad ... Mr McGlincey ... was tall and thin and had to reach `way down to pump the handcar ... Mr Blump, who was short and wide ... had to reach `way up. Every day they would start out happily. They always clicked along for about five miles, then they suddenly stopped. Hank would stop being happy, because he knew the big locomotive was coming up behind them, and they had to get off the track."
But one day Hank decides NOT to get off the track!
And this is where the story REALLY begins.
Mr McGlincey and Mr Blump pump as hard and fast as they can, trying to run ahead of the on-coming locomotive that will NOT stop ... until eventually Hank realises this is hopeless and he jumps off the track.
By the time they come to a stand-still in a bushy ravine, they are lost.
"Oh, dear," said Mr Blump. "We've got to find our way back to the track."
Mr McGlincey decides to ask a passing cow. "Beg pardon, ma'am," he says, bowing low. "Can you tell us where to find the Weehawken, Hoboken and Troy?"
And so it goes.
Again and again their inquiries -- their quest for their beloved Weehawken, Hoboken and Troy (can you detect a whiff of Homer's "Odyssey"?) -- lead to an unusual railway:
"This is an odd sort of track," said Mr McGlincey.
"Probably some improvement put in since we left," said Mr Blump.
The episodic quest for their lost "home", and the repetitive dialogue, and the droll, ironic humour, is (would you agree?) perfect for young children.
There is a happy ending, but it is not what might be expected.
This is a story that ought to be reprinted (are any publishers listening?) and join its better known companion-comparisons in the happy land of current editions for modern generations.
Google for "Sankey" or "Weehawken", and you will find that a miniature train enthusiast has dedicated his railway to the memory of Sankey, in gratitude for happy childhood memories of "Little Hank" -- beautiful!
Highly recommended!

John Gough jagough49@gmail.com

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I read that book hundreds of times in my childhood and dreamed that I was on that adventure with them. What a great children's story. It should be reprinted for all the new kids to read. Jack Ross

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The Weehawken, Hoboken, and Troy is the subject of a childrens' book entitled "Mr. Tootwhistle's Invention" written by Peter Wells and was copyrighted by The John C. Winston Company in 1942. The book is a story about Mr. Tootwhistle, who invented a "cowcatcher"" for his locomotive that ran on the subject railroad.

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I was wrong. The book was indeed "Little Hank" and not "Mr. Tootwhistle's Invention".

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