The Tea and Sugar train only came once a week on a Thursday. But the special Christmas train only came once a year.
Today was Sunday.
Four more days without sugar.
Four more days until the Christmas train. Please, please be on time. Please don’t be late.
Join Kathleen in the outback as she eagerly awaits the Christmas Tea and Sugar train. Will she meet Father Christmas? Will she receive a Christmas gift from him? A delightful, heart-warming story from the National Library of Australia that will intrigue, captivate and introduce readers to a slice of the past. Wonderful sensitive illustrations, including a beautiful double fold-out image showing the shops inside all the carriages.
For 81 years, from 1915 to 1996, the Tea and Sugar Train travelled from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie once a week. It serviced the settlements along the Nullarbor Plain, a 1050-long rail link. It was a lifeline. There were no shops or services in these settlements. The train carried everything they needed—household goods, groceries, fruit and vegetables, a butcher’s van, banking facilities and at one time even a theatrette car for showing films. The biggest excitement for the children was the first Thursday of December every year, when Father Christmas travelled the line. He distributed gifts to all the children on the way, including those of railway workers, those in isolated communities, and station kids.
About the Author
Jane Jolly is a primary school teacher of 35 years' experience. She has taught in Aboriginal schools, area schools and primary schools. In 1983 she worked as a governess on Commonwealth Hill Station. She now works part time as a teacher/librarian at Eastern Fleurieu School in South Australia, teaching creative writing and literature appreciation. Jane has had three picture books published, each earning a Notable Award from the Children's Book Council of Australia. Outside of teaching and writing her interests include organic gardening, cooking, and the plight of refugees.
About the Illustrator
Robert Ingpen was born in 1936 in Geelong, Victoria, and educated at Geelong College. He still lives and works nearby in Barwon Heads. In 1968 he began work as freelance designer, illustrator and author. Robert has written and/or illustrated more than 100 published books. These include children's picture books and fictional stories for all ages. His nonfiction books mostly relate to history, conservation, environment and health issues. His many books on Australian life include Pioneers of Wool (1972), Marking Time (1979), Aussie Battlers (1982, with Michael Page), and Imprints of Generations (2006).