Who doesn't know Thomas the train? With a huge number of different stories and over sixty years of continuous success, there is virtually no place on earth that hasn't heard of the adventures of this little talking locomotive that resides on the magical island of Sodor. Thomas the Train and all of his friends have brought magic into children's lives for generations, and continue to do so tale after tale.
Thomas was born back in the year of 1943 when its creator Wilbert Awdry, a reverend who had been fond of trains since he was a small kid, began making up stories for his son Christopher, who was ill and had to rest in bed for quite a while. The stories were about a happy little locomotive named Thomas and some of his friends that consisted of different characters based on different models of locomotives.
His son soon became a fan of his father's stories, and as such he could remember every single detail of every single story. To preserve consistency between them, the reverend began taking notes about each character he made up and the key actions they performed, and soon he had an entire description of every single one of those characters including their moods and way of talking.
As little Christopher asked his father to tell him the stories once and again, the reverend soon memorized them and was able to tell them exactly the same way each time without even reading them.
In 1945, the reverend Awdry's wife encouraged him to get those stories published to entertain not only Christopher, but also a lot of other kids. Soon, they met a retired businessman that was looking for something to do in his retirement. That man's name was Edmund Ward. Mr. Ward decided to publish the Thomas the Train tales and soon the first book came out. It was a booming success.
Several years and twenty six Thomas the Train books later, reverend Awdry decided to stop writing because he was getting too old for that. He passed the torch to his son Christopher, who continued writing stories for the Thomas the Train series of books.
Nowadays, Thomas the Train stories are available worldwide, and have been translated into more than twenty languages. Pretty good for a talking train who has never left the island of Sodor!
Today, Thomas the Train has his own TV show and a complete line of merchandise for children. From DVD's and videos to toys and games, this small friend of all has really conquered the hearts of literally hundreds of thousand children not only across the world, but also across the years.
It really makes me happy to see that Thomas the Train and his stories still are able to charm the world. The kind of healthy entertainment and fun they provide is becoming rarer and rarer these days, and finding adequate stories for kids seems to be harder than ever. I hope we can enjoy Thomas the Train for many times to come, as I am sure that our grandchildren will be touched by the Thomas the Train stories just like we and our children are.
Copyright © Jared Winston, 2006. All Rights Reserved.