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The Shop Train was inspired by the Tea and Sugar train that began operating in 1917 to provide supplies and services for railworkers and people living in remote communities between Port Augusta in South Australia and Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
The Shop Train is a heartwarming story about Rosie and her mum, and the rickety journey in their old car to pick up stores from the shop train. The train carried everything they needed, and was an exciting time for all who lived near its tracks. Rosie and her mum slowly wind their way through Wonghi country, on its dusty tracks and never-ending horizon, until they reach the train, brimming with activity and treasures from other places.
Paul Seden’s evocative illustrations effortlessly capture a bygone era, rendering the past with a deep sense of nostalgia, whilst capturing its uncluttered beauty. The Shop Train was inspired by similar journeys author Josie Wowolla Boyle took as a young girl. It was these journeys that left unforgettable memories on Josie, no matter how young or old she may have been.
“A beautifully rendered, heartwarming journey back in time and place.”
– Writing WA
"A lovely look back in time...The pencil illustrations by Paul Seden...give the reader a real sense of the vastness of the landscape." ★★★★☆
– Sue Mauger, Glam Adelaide
“Boyle captures the experience of driving the long, rough terrain to reach the train line with her mother, and the excitement and bustle of people gathering their weekly supplies...The light and innocent tones of these very uncomplicated memories are complemented by the high-energy movement illustrated in the figures and a nostalgic sepia-toned palette that evokes the dry bush of remote Australia.”
– Anica Boulanger-Mashberg, Books+Publishing