3.30.2010

Thomas, A Train that Inspires


My son is obsessed with Thomas the Train like other little boys. When I first watched an episode, I thought it seemed a little mundane. But I began to wonder what makes these trains and the island of Sodor so popular?

Kai can’t go through a day without saying “Choo Choo” about a dozen times and smiles so bright when he stumbles upon his little blue and red trains that have been hiding out in a toy box.

According to Wikipedia, the show is based on a series of books written by Reverend W. V. Awdry which he wrote to cheer up his son who suffered from measles.

The TV series has hosted celebrity storytellers such as Ringo Starr and Alec Baldwin. The show is also broadcasted across 20 different countries which means little boys all around the world share the love for Thomas the Tank Engine and James the Red Engine.

When Kai wakes up in the morning, he heads straight for his “Choo Choos” and pieces together all the wooden railroad tracks. I have to give Awrdy’s creation some credit for inspiring Kai to use his imagination.

Maybe it’s the face of Thomas and friends that really resonate with little children. According to The Guardian UK, autistic children feel a very strong connection with Thomas more so than other animated characters. The faces and their expressions are simple and the storytellers voice is calm and soothing.

This proves that there are a few good things to be discovered on TV. Thomas is definitely one of them.

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