Thomas and Friends is vastly popular throughout the world and therefore one can find plenty of products and books on the topic. There are sound books, LeapFrog Tag, electronic books, activity books and more. If your child loves Thomas, you surely won’t have any trouble finding a book or toy that will interest him or her.
Some History – The Railway Series
There are also the original books written by Rev. Wilbert Awdry and his son Christopher. When Christopher Awdry was young and had the measles in 1943, his father used to read him the Thomas the Tank Engine books. The first book in the Railway series is named The Three Railway Engines. It was published in 1945 and the stories included are Edward and Gordon, Edward’s Day Out, Edward, Gordon and Henry and The Sad Story of Henry.
Thomas the Tank Engine was the second book published in 1946 and is the first appearance of Thomas and James. Stories included are Thomas’ Train, Thomas and Gordon, Thomas and the Breakdown Train and Thomas and the Trucks.
The third book in the Railway series is James the Red Engine. This was published in 1948 and stories included are James and the Bootlace, James and the Top Hat, James and the Express, and Troublesome Trucks. James gets into trouble often because he is so careless. But he helps pull the Express and sets some troublesome trucks on the right path.
There are 26 books in the Railway series written by Rev. Wilbert Awdry himself, and many more written by his son Christopher. Christopher followed in his father’s footsteps in the mid-eighties, creating stories for his son Richard. His first book was published in 1983 and named Really Useful Engines. He completed a total of 14 books to add to the Railway series, finishing up in 1996.
Thomas the Tank Engine books have sold over eighty million copies throughout the world. Now that’s a lot of books! You can even find a Thomas the Tank Engine Owners’ Workshop Manual. This book is great for kids who are inquisitive and like to really understand how things work. It explains how Thomas operates, and how his driver interacts with him.
The great thing about Awdry’s books is that they are often based upon real people and events. The illustrations are colourful and attractive to children. Nowadays there are endless varieties of Thomas and Friends books to suit any child’s interests.
There are literally hundreds of books about Thomas the Tank Engine and Thomas and Friends, I couldn’t possibly discuss them all! But I will talk about a few of my favourites. The “Thomas and Friends: My Red Railway Book Box” is a wonderful set of board books for younger ones (up to 24 months). The set includes four popular Thomas board books: “Blue Train, Green Train”, “Go, Train, Go!”, “A Crack in the Track!” and “Stop, Train, Stop”. These board books are very sturdy with colourful pictures. Another book that was a hit at my place is “Thomas and Friends: Lift-the-Flap Freight”. Thomas and Percy are features in this book, and children get to lift the flaps to see what they are carrying.
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