Thomas & Friends Character Encyclopedia
Julia March & Rona Skene
DK Publishing, 2018
180oo., hbk., RRP $A129.99
One might wonder if the Reverend Wilbert Awdrey ever thought that the stories about trains that he created in 1943 to amuse his son Christopher while he recovered from measles would still be creating such interest and joy all these years later. While there are photos of him with the realisation of his creations not long before his death in 1997, 20 years on the characters and stories about them are as popular as ever.
Now, in this new release from DK, little ones are able to learn more about the Island of Sodor, its trusty railway system run by The Fat Controller and each of the steam engines he is in charge of, each with the common goal of being Really Useful. There is the Steam Team comprising Thomas the Tank Engine, Edward the Blue Engine, Henry the Green Engine, Gordon the Big Engine, James the Red Engine, Percy the Small Engine,Toby the Tram Engine and Emily the Stirling Single Engine as well as Harold the Helicopter, Sir Topham Hatt, and all the other steam engines, diesels, vehicles, and characters from Sodor.
Each has its own entry describing where they fit in, what they do and a lot of other information and photographs that will make them come alive for the young reader.
Not only would this be a great addition to the home library of the young Thomas fan who can begin to relate to books as being sources of information as well as imagination using both the contents and index to find their favourites, but at this time of the year with thousands of littlies starting big school for the first time, it is a familiar link between the familiarity of home and preschool and this new, often overwhelming world that they are venturing into. A display of Family Favourites featuring all those familiar faces was a top priority for the first few weeks of school and this one, with its cute little Thomas that rolls along the top of the book, would be the perfect addition.