Casey Loves Trains (And Likes Mazes)

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Available from CreateSpace and Amazon.

From the Introduction:

When my daughter suggested that I do a maze book about trains, I told her that such a book was impossible for me. She thought I should do mazes in the shapes of various kinds of trains. Although I can control the shape of a maze, those shapes could not resemble trains at the small size needed for children's mazes. I explained that the kind of maze she was thinking of would be best done with hand-drawn mazes, not with my method of constructing mazes, which is to display computer-generated mazes using specially designed typefaces. Further, railroads are one dimensional--trains are long, thin objects that move along a line. Mazes are two dimensional, so mazes and trains seem a poor fit.

She then said that the other sort of maze book that her son would enjoy would be a dinosaur maze book. Again, I told her that was not something I felt especially suited to do.

However, after thinking about her suggestions, I realized that the challenge was not impossible--I had some experience to draw on. A series of toy train typefaces was one of my early typefaces designs, and I had also done a dinosaur typeface based on stencils that my son Matthew had made. In the past year I had taken a lengthy trip on Amtrak and could work that experience into the book. Finally, I had paid a lot of attention to and taken many pictures of rail-related items for my Rensselaer Adventures blog--the source of the pictures of the MOW crew. However, a maze book on trains would require a new approach--this book would be very different from my previous maze books.

Casey Loves Trains is the result, a book in which mazes help illustrate a child's adventure. It will provide hours of entertainment for train-loving and dinosaur-loving kids who are about four to nine years old. (Children at the low end of that range will need some parental help.) They will enjoy not only the number of mazes--over 100--but also the variety in the mazes. Some are fairly easy but others are challenging. There are mazes in which the path is between the lines, others in which the path is on the line, and still others where one must figure out where the path is. Hidden behind the animals, trains, rails, and other pictures used to form mazes are grids of triangles, squares, hexagons, or octagons, and each of these grids gives a different sort of mazes. A few mazes have paths that cross over and under themselves.

This is my seventh maze book. Previous books include two published by Dover (Fascinating Mazes and Maze Madness) and four published through CreateSpace (Easy Alphabet Mazes, Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes, Amusing Alphabet Mazes, and A Cornucopia of Mazes). Children who enjoy the mazes in this book will also enjoy the mazes in Tantalizing Tessellating Mazes.

I hope you have as much fun with this book as I had designing it. I apologize in advance for errors that remain.

Robert Schenk March 2012

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