Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop Women's Shop Men's

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
'Thomas & Friends - The Railway Stories' is a one CD audiobook comprising of three separate 25 min long stories, each of which are narrated by the longstanding narrator of the Thomas The Tank Engine Series - Michael Angelis. The three stories included are original Revered W. Awdry tales, given a fresh new recording and 2011 release.

The tales are:

- Branch Line Engines
- Gallant Old Engine
- Stepney The 'Bluebell' Engine

Each of the above tales are split up into four chapters for ease of listening (if your little ones happen to fall asleep during a story you can easily find your place again later).

The stories are the usual 'original' tales with a light-hearted moral message planted at the route of the storyline. The characters and tales are each engaging and energetic, with Awdry's voice setting the scene in a soothing but entertaining manner. The many accompanying sound effects add a good addition to the storytelling which the kids seem to enjoy immensely.

We've found that the audiobook is ideal for use in our car during a long journey, in which the short tales will keep the kids entertained for a solid 25 minutes for each story. In between a few of the stories are short musical songs which have an upbeat tone and easy to sing-along with lyrics. Once again - ideal for travelling in a car with the youngsters (but not so good for bedtime stories).

All in all we were very happy with the audiobook collection, delivering good quality recordings to the standard that you would expect from such a popular children's character. The stories are entertaining and segregated in such a way that they would even be suitable to be broken up for shorter journeys. So yes...we're very happy with it!

The included video hopefully gives you more of an idea of what to expect.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
You can't really go wrong with an item like this if you've got a child who likes Thomas & Friends. The running time's 1 hour 15 minutes, making it especially good for moderate-length car journeys. The only complaint I have is that the track listing is wrong. The CD has 14 tracks on it, but the insert lists only 12, omitting the two songs that take up tracks of their own. If you've got a child who likes listening to only the songs, or particular parts of the stories, over and over it can make finding them that little bit more difficult, and incorrect track listings are a bugbear of mine anyway (it's such a simple thing to get right).

The correct track listing should be:

Branch Line Engines
1. Thomas Comes to Breakfast
2. Song: "There Once Was An Engine Who Ran Away"
3. Daisy
4. Bulls' Eyes
5. Percy's Predicament

Gallant Old Engine
6. Special Funnel
7. Steamroller
8. Passengers and Polish
9. Gallant Old Engine
10. Song: "The Narrow Gauge Song"

Stepney the "Bluebell" Engine
11. Bluebells of England
12. Stepney's Special
13. Train Stops Play
14. Bowled Out + Song: "Engine Roll Call"
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
My four year old thoroughly enjoyed the stories on this Audio CD, and if I'm going to be completely honest with you, I rather enjoyed them myself. You see these are the Thomas stories as they were originally read to me by my Dad some thirty years ago - the ORIGINAL stories as written by the Reverend W. Awdry. These original stories are quite noticeably different to the modern Thomas and Friends stories currently available in many shops. Certainly the language used is more traditional and dare I say challenging - more than once Toby is referred to as acting "indignantly", things nearly come to "fisticuffs" and "festooning" and "gallivanting" also make a welcome appearance.

The CD consists of 14 tracks - two of which are songs. I didn't like the songs, but my four year old didn't mind them - I appreciate that I'm not necessarily the target audience here! The total running time is 1hr 16min. The stories are read by Michael Angelis who everyone will know as the voice of Thomas and Friends from the long running TV series - come on people, Ringo Starr hasn't been involved in this franchise for a LONG time! There are three stories, Branch Line Engines, Gallant Old Engines and Stepney the Bluebell Engine. If these names don't sound too familiar to modern Thomas fans, I can tell you that Brach Line Engines is basically the same story as the modern story book "Daisy" and at least part of Stepney the Bluebell Engine forms the modern story of "Caroline". I wasn't familiar with Gallant Old Engines but I'm pretty sure that's been simplified and condensed "for a modern audience" too.

The sound effects and of course narration will be instantly familiar to fans of the current TV Series, although it's slightly unfortunate that the music sounds like it was played on a children's Bontempi organ. The fact that these are the traditional stories will doubtless appeal to some older fans, but these stories are as enduringly appealing to young children as they've always been - even in their original form.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 21 July 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There can't be many houses left that don't have some Thomas merchandise in them, and it's probably quite tricky for the makers to re-hash the same material over and over. The books have been done at least 3 times in different styles, the TV show has had a makeover. Now the original stories are getting the audio book treatment, and this is great news for those of us who read them first time round, as well as for the kids who are familiar with the current version.

This is a great little series and definitely worth the investment. Michael Angelis has a lovely reading tone (though to an adult it might sound like he's on auto-pilot), and has become so synonymous with the stories that it's funny to think that one of The Beatles did it once.

I would say this is for the slightly older, more discerning, or perhaps more addicted, child listener, but it's as pleasant to listen to as you always imagined it as a child.
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 15 December 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I found this CD book excellent as a present for my four-year-old nephew. He loves it! This CD contains short stories read slowly and clearly by Rev Awdry with a nice tone of voice. Not just the voice but it contains good noises and music in the background, so it will help the small listeners imagine sceneries. The songs are catchy and my nephew has already started trying to sing along with them. For children in modern age in which their parents are too busy and can't provide many opportunities to read books at the bedside, this CD would be a good substitution. Bedside stories (like radio dramas) would give them good imaginations and comfort, which would be far better than watching TV or playing computer games endlessly!

I can certainly recommend it to anyone who's looking for a good present for a small child!
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Most little boys and plenty of small girls go through a Thomas The Tank Engine stage. Their parents and grandparents remember with fondness the small but perfectly formed oblong card backed books with the jolly-faced engines beaming out.

The Rev. Wibert Vere Awdry knew what he was about. Little life lessons pertaining to good and bad behaviour, not getting above oneself, helping others, the importance of friendship, consideration and general kindness were all wrapped up in fun and games with the rich multitude of engines living and working on the Island of Sodor.

So many ways of enjoying Thomas now present themselves. All the same it is a stage and during the Thomas years of childhood it is comforting and reassuring to listen to the stories being read aloud. On this cd Michael Angelis, better known to the grown ups for his roles in Z Cars, Minder and The Liver Birds, kindly does the business so that you can concentrate on other matters. He is the longest running Thomas narrator and on this cd his rich warm, comfortable tones entrance and amuse. When doing the Fat Controller he really sounds as though he has a mouth full of doughnuts.

On the menu for your next long car journey with the child seats filled and the "Are We There Yet's" hanging in the air, are three generous stories interspersed by music and songs. `Branch Line Engines', `Gallant Old Engine' and `Stepney the Bluebell Engine' are lined up to entertain. Kicking off with Thomas definitely getting above himself by taking a compliment to heart and deciding that he doesn't need a driver; the bumptious engine learns that `Pride comes before a Fall' when he ends up sharing breakfast with the Station Master and his family, crashing in through the house!

"Diesels never gallivant off to breakfast in Station Master's houses" ignites the long running competition between the diesel and steam trains. This rumbles along quietly throughout. Daisy, who `purrs' has to learn about cows from Toby, after all this is the olden days when farmers sent their milk by train and Champion the Bull did his duty rather than the AI man. The reasonable remonstrations of the driver calm the troubled waters and Daisy learns to shoo a cow off the line after taunting Toby about his cow-catcher. Everyone ends up friends.

Whatever the dilemma they all end up back in their cosy sheds and all is well. "Luckily No One Was Hurt" has become a catch phrase in our house anyway!
0Comment| 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 23 June 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The late Reverend W. Awdry (Wilbert Vere Awdry(, OBE (15 June 1911 - 21 March 1997), created the legend that became Thomas The Tank Engine. This CD contains 3 Original stories read by Michael Angelis the longest running UK narrator since series 3.
Each story is engaging, entertaining and an excellent way for children to develop a moral and mature outlook to life and behaviour.
The stories are:
Branch Line Engines: Following an accident, Daisy the Diesel Rail-car comes to help. A lesson in getting along with others, feelings and co-operation are just some of the themes covered.
Gallant Old Engine: Peter Sam gets teased about his new funnel but soon the tables are turned.
Stephen the 'Bluebell Engine: Cricket, a special engine and a new railway feature in this heart-warming, light-hearted story.
As an adult, I may not meet the key demographic, however I certainly advocate the use of this as a learning tool as well as entertainment. Unlike the many super-hero-style children's entertainment that is available in ever more sophisticated guises, Thomas The Tank Engine will always win, in my opinion. This is a childhood staple, the faces as recognisable as Mickey Mouse yet the product is of far higher quality than just a Disney cartoon.

Product also includes, music, soun effects and songs.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
What a delightful recording this is, perfectly produced in the style I feel that the rev W Awdry originally intended. True to the books and characters, Michael Angelis' reading brings all the characters to life, making the whole CD a thing of pleasure to listen to from the beginning through to the end. There are 12 stories in all and each one as good as the last. Great for children to listen to whilst on a long (are we there yet?) journey - good for the parents too I feel.

There is a similarity between Micheal Angelis and Ringo Starr's reading styles, but to be honest, Michael is so much more professional and never boring. The sound effects are brilliant which makes the whole CD more enjoyable. There are also some songs which break up the stories.

All in all a gem of a recording, great for children and the adults too. Perfect listening either at home or on that long(ish) journey. Also great for listening again and again.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon 23 May 2012
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
It's good that Michael Angelis narrates, as his is the familiar voice from the tv show - yes, I do have a soft spot for Ringo's version in the early series, but I don't think today's kids would be that bothered. Angelis' accents are not that convincing sometimes - his 'Scottish' voices usually arrive back on Merseyside rather too soon - but he's always a reassuring presence.

Plenty of sound affects to make up for the lack of pictures, it's probably better for slightly older children - six or thereabouts, maybe? Our three year old has 'gone off' Thomas (again!) so doesn't much appreciate the CD versions at the moment, but hopefully it's another phase and by the time he's older he'll no doubt be enjoying these tales on drives to the shops or to Dartmoor Zoo. Or maybe even the local steam railway!
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 27 June 2011
Format: Audio CD|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a charming collection of Thomas The Tank Engine stories narrated by the very familiar and excellent Michael Angelis. The CD consists of 14 tracks in total, 12 of which are stories about 5-6 minutes in length, 2 are songs.

The stories are all in the classic Thomas tradition, warm, happy tales featuring Thomas and his friends. Any child who enjoys the television series will feel right at home with this, Michael Angelis introduces each story then narrates the tale in his friendly, distinctive style. As well as great narration, every story includes plenty of sound effects such as the trains whistling and chugging noises. The CD also includes 2 great songs in that recognisable Thomas sing-along style, so all in all there's plenty of fun here to keep any child amused.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse