Paying hommage to an older author’s book, one that you’ve enjoyed a lot, is nearly always a good idea. Thanks to Bank Holiday television there can’t be a person in this country who hasn’t watched the film version of Edith Nesbit’s book The Railway Children. I’d like to think that this by itself would be enough for children to discover Nesbit and her many books.
However, if not, then surely the fact that Jacqueline Wilson has now written a book inspired by The Railway Children will send young readers looking for more by Edith. It’s a different story, one set in modern times, which probably suits Jacqueline’s fans better.
It took me a while to work out why it’s called The Primrose Railway Children… Jacqueline gave her fictional siblings a vintage railway, once she had discovered the Bluebell Railway in Sussex, and realised that this was how she could write her Railway Children story.
This way her fans can have a traditional Jacqueline Wilson book, but with a hint of history as well. Best of both worlds.
Illustrations by Rachael Dean.