I found the sparkles in Thomas the Tank Engine

I sorta hate the world of Thomas the Tank Engine. It all seems so dour. And it’s weird that the moral of every story is that the trains should strive to be “really useful.” What is this crap? Indoctrination for unthinking worker bees?

There’s a bin filled with Thomas books at the library. Besides the messed-up messages, they’re long and clunky. I usually try to get my kid to avoid that section so he won’t see them. But yesterday he spied them from afar and latched onto two immediately. On the plus side, it’s pretty cool to see Miles interested in more complicated books lately.

One of his picks was the story of the mysterious engine, Lady. We’ve had Lady in our train collection for some time, and she’s a consistent favorite with Miles. I’d always wondered where Lady comes from since she has yet to appear in the show or the books we’d read so far. This book is her story.

Thomas and the Magic Railroad, with Lady too

It’s totally different from the other stories we’ve read. There is magic and “shavings all the colors of the rainbow” and a very special cousin of Mr. Conductor who “appeared in a wonderful cascade of sparkles.”

Take a look. It’s no ordinary Thomas story.

Mr. Conductor's cousin Junior makes his debut

No Thomas character has ever had better hair


5 thoughts on “I found the sparkles in Thomas the Tank Engine

  1. I agree with your dislike of Thomas books. I also find them clunky, and I get tired of the brow-beating moralizing.
    Clearly the one you found is either the one book in the series intended for girls. Or it’s the “family” version–complete with rainbow sparkles and fabulous hair!

  2. You know, thomas has grown on me over time. I still hate reading the books (which are dreadfully dull), but I do love the stories that come out when the kids play pretend thomas (and also love that our daughter has gotten into thomas by way of her younger brother. She always introduces some new excitement to the games, so at least in our household, it nicely crosses gender lines). But there are lots of train and subway games in our house anyway (and as city dwellers, they often come complete with incomprehensible PA announcements)

  3. Interestingly, the Thomas television show doesn’t seem as horrible as the books. And, a pro tip: the “Easy Reader” Thomas books are perfect for the 3-4 year old set as read-alouds. The stories are short, so there’s no room for moralizing and words like “stupid” (which I just found in a Thomas story.)

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