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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Geneva: Good Cents treasure hunting yields a Lego train book gem

Shhh! One of Santa's elves made a great discovery at her favorite kids' store this morning. My shopping goal was to find pants for the kids and my first stop was Good Cents Children in Geneva, always my first stop for kids' clothing. Of course, I had to take a peek at their train section. There is always an adorable endcap with railroad books and toys. Being a resale shop, the available merchandise varies from visit to visit but I can say that no small number of our family's wooden trains and books have come from this store. There are always train toys, books, coloring and sticker books and, sometimes, shirts and hats. Anyway, tucked in an assortment of Thomas the Train picture books I found this gem: 
"Getting Started with Lego Trains"
by Jacob H. McKee 

I snatched it up, flipped through it, and did not set it down. It's as if a book had been written just for my 7-year old. Trains + Lego = Bliss. (The fact that it has one of his very favorite engines on the cover just sealed the deal.) It's over 100 pages of full-color Lego-building principles, step-by-step instructions for building several kinds of train cars and custom track layout ideas. Honestly, I'd like to plop myself down amid my son's box o' Legos and start construction right now!

This particular elf tends to be a bargain hunting sort of gal with no qualms about second-hand Christmas gifts if they are in decent shape and a good match for the giftee. So the plan was to squirrel away my $3 discovery until Dec. 25. Then I took a peek at Amazon.com to see if the book, published in 2003, is still available. The kids in this house aren't the only ones I know who love Lego trains, but it looks like the other engineers on my list won't be getting a copy of this title. Not only is it out of print, it's going for at least $40 used on Amazon and eBay. (Not bad for something with a $20 cover price.) So, it looks like, not only did I find a perfect gift, I found an introductory lesson in investing. Trains: the gift that keeps on giving!

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