From the time E was born, I was that mom that insisted I wouldn't be having gobs of character stuff in my house. No Elmo, no Dora, no Mickey, and no Thomas. I felt that if I allowed E to get into something that had a television show basis, that's all he'd want to do 24/7 was watch tv and my house would look like a walking advertisement.
Well, Thomas has invaded... and I'm actually ok with it. E's tv time is just as limited as it was before he became interested in a specific character and my house doesn't look like a Thomas explosion. Yet. We do have quite a few trains (thank you Craigslist for an awesome deal) and a friend gave us a Thomas tent she picked up at a yard sale for 50 cents. Other than that, E's entire Thomas "collection" is in books.
Random House was kind enough to send a few new ones for us to check out. I let him open the package and you would have thought it was Christmas! Big smiles all around!
Busy, Busy Thomas is a sturdy board book with flaps to lift. There were over 30 flaps, which made for quite a bit of entertainment, and the flaps were nice and thick, so no tearing. A great feature for little toddler hands.
Thomas' Big Book of Beginner Readers is probably his favorite. In the last few weeks he's started sitting through longer stories and these are the perfect length. He's obviously not using them as an early reading jumpstart or anything, but the larger letters, short text portions, and big illustrations are a hit. He also seems to really like being able to turn lots and lots of pages. He sat through 3/4 of the book yesterday, which I think is pretty impressive for a book this size with a 20-month-old. Score another one for Thomas.
Finally, we received Thomas and Friends Little Golden Library. These particular books are a little advanced for E right now -- long stories, small text, lots of time on each page, so we have been reading them, but he does really like to try to turn the pages himself and look at the illustrations. James seems to be his favorite engine and he'll point to James on every page he appears, exclaiming his delight in his own little language. Still working on the talking.
My piece of advice to new moms is to just not fight it. Thomas is perfectly fine and enjoyable, as I'm sure the other characters can be too. As long as the kids aren't plopped in front of the tv 6 hours a day and you say no to a portion of the onslaught of toys well-meaning family members are sure to purchase, your house won't be totally taken over. Thomas did invade our house, but I can still stick him on a shelf for now. I was also the new mom that said I didn't want plastic toys in my house. HA!