Now Universal App! Thomas the Train is beloved by many children, from the animated television and movie productions, to the actual toy wooden trains that populate many of the 'toy rooms' across the globe. This digital book is based on the movie, "Day of the Diesels" released this year (Sept. 2011). The story in the book follows the movie plot and has Percy feeling left out as Thomas befriends two new Diesel fire engines. But the true meaning of friendship prevails when it turns out the new diesels are trying to take over the steamworks.
The story is nicely narrated with vivid images from the movie. These scenes have nice, slightly animated touches, like steam coming out of the trains, as well as some more animated scenes of the the trains moving along the tracks and the engines talking to each other. The book also has easy settings to navigate through its many features.
While there are nice animations and interactive elements within the book, the real action is in the extras. The following extras are included:
Puzzles - 5 puzzles of the scenes in the book are available with two settings, easy (6 pieces) and hard (12 pieces). Completing the puzzles correctly triggers a short animated scene from the movie.
Movie/Song - This is an animated music video about the misty island rescue that last just over 2 minutes.
Matching Game - Traditional Card Matching Game. Two Settings: Hard (28 cards) & Easy (16 cards). Nice challenge with similar looking engines. Great for Thomas fans who know all the characters.
Coloring Pages - There are 10 coloring pages to choose from and each one has a palate of colors and three brush 'thicknesses' to color with.
Overall, this is a nice digital book for the iPad, especially for fans of Thomas & his many train friends.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Reverend W. V. Awdry
15 - 30 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 4 - 9
This book app follows the movie plot closely, with an abridged version:
"Thomas and his best friend Percy fight a fire at a farm house until Belle arrives to save the day. After the fire is put out, Belle had run out of water and Thomas and Percy shunt her to the Steamworks. Once there, Belle is congratulated by the Fat Controller for her brave work. But he says that another fire engine is needed on the Island. Belle recommends Flynn, so it is arranged to bring him over from the Mainland.
When Thomas starts to spend all his time with Belle, Percy feels left out. Percy is supposed to deliver Flynn's hose to the Rescue Centre, but Diesel convinces him to go to the Sodor Dieselworks. At the Dieselworks, Percy is made to feel very special by Diesel 10. Percy wants to leave so that he can deliver Flynn's hose, but Diesel 10 says that Dart can take it instead. Percy learns all about the state of the Dieselworks. The Diesels say that they had told the Fat Controller that the Dieselworks needed repairing, but that he only listens to steam enignes. Percy says that he'll ask Thomas to tell the Fat Controller because he always listens to Thomas.
Meanwhile, Flynn arrives at the docks and he sets for the Steamworks. When Percy finds Thomas at the Steamworks, everyone is admiring Flynn. Percy tries to tell Thomas about the Dieselworks, but Thomas interupts saying that the Fat Controller had asked him to show Flynn around the Island and he rolls over to the new fire engine. Percy very sadly rolls away to Tidmouth Sheds.
The next day, Percy returns to the Dieselworks and learns that they don't have a working crane. Percy leaves to find Thomas, but when he arrives at the Steamworks, Thomas isn't there. But Kevin is. Percy tells him all about the Dieselworks and says that if Kevin went there, Diesel 10 would call him a hero. Then Thomas arrives and tells Percy that Flynn's hose is missing. Percy again tries to tell Thomas about the Dieselworks, but Thomas puffs away to talk to Victor. Percy searches all over the Island, but it soon grows dark and Percy returns to Tidmouth Sheds. There he finds that Flynn is in his berth. Very upset, he leaves and goes to the Steamworks. There he tells Kevin that he will take him to the Dieselworks. But before Kevin could say anything, they were off for the Dieselworks. Diesel 10 is delighted to have a new crane. Now that the Dieselworks had a crane, the place is soon cleared of piled up junk.
Diesel 10 asks Percy if he had told Thomas. Percy tells him that he hadn't, but that he would. Diesel 10 says that Percy should bring Thomas to the Dieselworks so that they'd have his full attention. Percy reluctantly agrees and stays the night at the Dieselworks.
The next day, Percy arrives at Knapford only to learn that Thomas is looking for him. Thomas then arrives and asks where Percy was. Percy tells him, but before anyone could say anything, Gordon pulled up announcing Kevin's disappearance. Percy tells everyone that he's at the Dieselworks and Thomas asks if Victor knows. Percy admits that he doesn't and Thomas tells him that he must tell Victor right away.
Meanwhile, Kevin was playing with Happy Hook at the Dieselworks until Diesel 10 comes in and puts a stop to it. At the Steamworks, Percy tells everyone about the Dieselworks, but Thomas still wasn't listening. So Percy tells Thomas he must collect Kevin from the Dieselworks. Victor very crossly goes to tell the Fat Controller.
Percy returns to tell Diesel 10 that Thomas will soon be there and that Victor had left the Steamworks. Diesel 10 says that Percy will lead the Diesels to the Steamworks so that they can take it over and that then the Fat Controller would listen to them. Thomas pulls in and Diesel 10 says that Den and Dart will take care of him. Den then tells Thomas to come to the back shed and he does so, reluctantly. Diesel 10 snaps his claw, causing sparks to land on oily papers.
Percy is leading the Diesels to the Steamworks and once there, Diesel 10 announces that they won't give the Steamworks back. Percy is horrified and watches the Diesels running amok in the Steamworks. Percy returns to the Dieselworks to find Thomas, but first sees that a fire had started in the main shed! Pery races to the Rescue Centre to get Flynn and Belle, but Belle reminds them that Flynn's hose is still missing. Percy thinks about how the Diesels had tricked him and thinks that the hose must be at the Dieselworks. So the three set off to rescue Thomas and the Dieselworks.
They arrive at the back shed and find Den and Dart holding Thomas and Kevin captive. Percy asks where Flynn's hose is and Dart tells him that it's in the garbage. Belle and Flynn go to find it and Percy orders the Diesels to let Thomas go, but they soon run away when they smell the smoke from the fire.
Now that Thomas and Kevin are free, Percy and Thomas roll to the front shed and watch Flynn and Belle put out the fire. Now that the Dieselworks was saved, Thomas and Percy rally their friends to retake the Steamworks. The steam engines promise to help the Diesels if they give back the Steamworks. The Fat Controller then drives up and reprimands Diesel 10 and tells him that he has to fix everything that he damaged. Percy, Thomas, and Kevin tell the Fat Controller that the Diesels are sad because their Dieselworks is old and dirty. Then the Fat Controller reveals that it was his plan all along to restore the Dieselworks, but that things take time.
Soon the steam and Diesel engines work together to restore the Dieselworks. At the opening, the Fat Controller says that the new Dieselworks is special because it shows what happens when Really Useful Engines work together and that he's very proud of all of his engines."
[Synopsis of movie courtesy Wikia - Day of the Diesels]