Today my kids asked to read this book called “Happy Birthday, Thomas!“, which is part of the Thomas the Train book series. Thomas the Tank Engine and his train friends are some of the wackiest characters I’ve seen in children’s books (and TV series – this one is banned at our house). The various locomotives feature strong personalities associated with each character (talk about toxic labeling, something you should never do with kids!). Apparently, Thomas is the happiest camper of all, but in this book gets upset when everyone seems to have forgotten his birthday. Who knew locomotives could be so temperemental!
My kids seem to enjoy this book, while I find it quite disturbing overall. Here are just a few of the scenes that make me go, huh?
1) Suicidal thoughts
As Thomas heads home after a long day, he is stopped in his tracks (literally) by… you guessed it, a cow. Usually cows like to watch trains from the side of the tracks, but this one prefers to entertain some suicidal thoughts and stand right on them. Maybe the grass tastes better on the other side of the tracks.
2) Utters, anyone?
By the way, why is the cow’s butt closest to us, and not its head? Are they trying to tell us something? Show us something?
3) More utters and more fur, anyone?
On the next two pages, Thomas argues with the cow to make it moooove.
Now, let’s take a closer look at the cow’s Moo…
Wow, what disturbed illustrator came up with that concept? Am I the only one to be kind of grossed out?
I’m sure you want to know if Thomas makes it back to the station. The answer is, yes he does, where his friends give him a surprise birthday party. Alright, maybe THAT is the most disturbing part of the book after all. Trains that talk, complain and party like it’s 1999…