Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine by W Awdry

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Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine by W Awdry

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Lorraine McDonald
Reviewed by Lorraine McDonald
Summary: Steaming in with some lovely illustrations and imaginative layouts, it's 'Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine'. There are no surprises here; it's exactly what you would expect from this global brand. Easy on the eye, light on the story but a winner with young children.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: June 2015
Publisher: Egmont
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781405276054

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I don't like Thomas the Tank Engine. He may be a 'really useful' engine but he is also over exposed and (Surely? Please?) at commercial saturation point. Why then do I have a copy of Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine at my side? Well, for the same reason that a pack of Thomas, Percy and James socks, infant size 3-5, ended up in my shopping basket at the weekend. Yes, the owner of those titchy feet is my toddler boy and boy, does he love Thomas.

'Three Cheers for Thomas' is a beautifully bright and wonderfully glossy, paperback. Thomas, Bertie and the Fat Controller are all beaming on the cover. No painted plates here. This is all CGI rendered in the style of the TV show. Lovers of the original tank engine stories may be disappointed but I think it is all the better for it.

The inside of the front and back covers are a highlight for my boy as twenty five characters are depicted here. This page is studied intently. I suppose if I was really pushed I would begrudgingly admit to not minding Cranky – he's a crane and I think what I like about him is his attitude. My boy is more of a James fan. Small children at playgroup who have tried and failed to wrestle the red engine from him can vouch for this. Further joy awaits overleaf with a double page spread of the island of Sodor. There's Knapford Station, Brendam docks and a selection of engines 'shunting trucks and hauling freight'. All good fun.

Inside, the layout is varied and creative. Some double page spreads, some cut outs leaving white space for text. It's nicely done. I particularly like the two double pages with four parallel train lines showing Thomas' various shuntings up and down the track and his race with Bertie the bus.

And what of the story? Unlike many Thomas tales no cows block the line and no train derails. For the uninitiated this is irregular as the island of Sodor ordinarily keeps the health and safety inspectorate busy with an improbably high number of bumps and bashes. Like most Thomas tales, this one is fairly simple. In short, Thomas needs a repair. Thomas gets a repair. Everyone has a party to celebrate. Hoorah!

It's easy to mock Thomas given the sheer proliferation of books and the ubiquity of Thomas embossed toys and clothes. Compared to some TV spin off books though, this is Shakespeare. So, it's two toots for Thomas from me but a big, loud 'Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine' from toddler boy. Just don't ever come round to my house and mention the theme park…

For a dose of railway reality, toddler boy and me agree that Rattle and Rap by Susan Steggall is just the ticket.

Buy Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine by W Awdry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine by W Awdry at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine by W Awdry at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Three Cheers for Thomas the Tank Engine by W Awdry at Amazon.com.


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