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Written by : The Rev. W. Awdry
Published by : Egmont Childrens Books (2010)
ISBN : 978-0603564031
Boardbook - 16 pages
Available from Amazon UK for £1.25 with free p&p.
Thomas and his engine friends live on the Island of Sodor. The engines face many challenges from day to day and under the careful watch of the Fat Controller, they must push through and get on with their jobs.
*James and Toby*
This boardbook is part of the original Thomas the Tank book collection. The book blurb states :
"James boasts to the other engines that he is never late. Then Toby breaks down on the main line. How will James get the Express through on time?"
This book features a few of the engines including Gordon, James, Percy and Toby. Thomas doesn't feature in this one which is very unusual! The book can be identified by a grumpy looking Toby and smug looking James in their sheds. Each page features a few lines of writing and a huge picture showing what is happening.
My son selected this one from our local Poundworld a few months ago and it fits in nicely with the other Thomas books we have. The book is a good size for a toddler and would be ideal for putting in a bag to entertain whilst out an about. The board pages are strong and durable.
My son chose this particular book Toby is one of his favourite engines despite making only rare appearances. I think my son was more suprised to see Toby on the front cover as most books are based around the popular engines such as Thomas and Percy so he snapped it up whilst it was there! The current Amazon price is fair as this is a nice edition to a book collection.
The story reflects the usual scenario of one train thinking they are better than the other. Gordon is grumpy, James is cheeky and smug and Toby looks old and worn. The book is very easy to read and is relatively short so is ideal for a quick bedtime read. The story isn't a cheery one and there is a lot of grumpiness and unhappiness in it but it isn't scary ot uncomfortable to read.
The story is short and flows well. Toby is the main character my son likes this. James is one of his favourite engines as well so the combination was going to be a hit with him! The bulk of the story follows Toby on the tracks and getting stuck as he has run out of water. James is angry as he won't get past Toby. What will he do?
'James was cross when he heard Toby was blocking the line. "I'm going to be late" he tooted grumpily'
The book is colourful and each double page has a different, bold coloured border. The illustrations are very clear and realistic. They look exactly how they would in the show and the engines are detailed well. Many of the images are of Toby out on the tracks and they have been drawn well to fit in with the style of the book.
My son likes this book. It is an easy read and he enjoys looking at the pictures. He likes the ending though has reminded me not to tell you what it is so you will need to read the book for yourself. James and Toby is a nice little book for the collection though not one we would bring out to read every night as the story can only be read so many times before it becomes a bit tedious!
A pleasant change from Thomas and Percy!
Thanks for reading x