Thomas and Friends

What’s it about: The adventures of Thomas and his friends.

Where is it from: United Kingdom

How often is it published: Fortnightly

The tv programme, Thomas the Tank Engine, was first broadcast in 1984 and was based on the Railway Series of books by Reverend and Christopher Awdry.  The books were based on stories that Wilbert Awdry had told to his son Christopher whilst recovering from measles. There were 42 books in the series, with the first being published in 1945. Reverend Awdry lived close to a railway line for most of his early life and the sights and sounds of the steam engines as they rushed along must have ignited his passion for trains.

The TV series followed the adventures of Thomas, a friendly little engine, and his pals who lived on the imaginary island of Sodor. All the vehicles had their own personalities, and not all were as dedicated as Thomas, who was a hard working, really useful engine. A series of video cassettes followed with a selection of stories narrated by Ringo Starr. Each story had a jolly little signature tune that still rings in my head some 25 years later, having watched these episodes on a (very) regular basis with my young son.

As with many popular childrens programmes, a magazine followed. Thomas and Friends is full of exciting games, puzzles and activities that will engage children in many ways. It is aimed at children within the 3-6 age group, and attempts to stimulate the learning process with games such as finding hidden objects, colouring, joining the dots and reading stories. The magazine pages are bright and colourful with images that jump out at the reader.

Lots of youngsters have grown up watching, learning and playing with this wonderful group of friends and the magazine gets this fun gang out of the television and onto paper. There are fun and exciting games and activities aimed at building knowledge and increasing thinking power, engaging the reader in many ways and stimulating their learning process.

The current version of Thomas and Friends gives instructions on how to make your own engine height chart, ideas to make a collage, and also includes a set of free stickers.This exciting magazine can be ordered on Unique magazines website as a single issue, or on a subscription over 3, 6 or 9 months.