Thomas the Tank Engine has chugged into homes again and is bringing some favorite friends along with him. In his newest DVD, this “really useful engine” will delight young viewers with his loveable antics.

The engines of the Island of Sodor share their adventures in an “Adventure Pack” four-DVD set. Thomas, Percy, James, Edward and Emily transport children on an exciting journey full of impish exploits.

Thomas and his railway friends were born from bedtime stories told by Rev. Wilbert Awdry to his son, Christopher, in the 1940s. These nighttime tales grew into a series of children’s books about the trains.

In October 1984, Britt Alcroft, a television producer and long time lover of the Thomas books, first introduced the television audience to these loveable locomotives. Thomas and friends steamed onto the screen in Britain and became an instant hit.

Since then, Thomas has become a favorite of children worldwide.

In this newest set of adventures, the engines work to keep Sir Topham Hatt’s railways running smoothly. The trains learn lessons about patience, humility, planning and friendship.

Each story has a sweet and simple moral that will help children grow to respect and care for the feelings and lives of others. Whether it's Thomas learning that being careful can be just as important as being fast, or Emily learning no one likes a bossy friend, the lessons taught will benefit young viewers as well.

Perhaps one of the best lessons is that even if people are different, they can still have an important role. The steamies and diesels of the island sometimes have their differences. However, steam engines and diesel engines can work together and help each other when things get tough.

But this DVD set is not just limited to railway adventures. It also includes two other popular crews.

Bob the Builder and his helpful construction machines set out to make Harbor Town the best it can be. They work at a local museum, transform a shack into a surf school and create a play area for school children. Scoop, Muck, Dizzy, Scratch and the rest of the building gang get into crazy scrapes and help each other create friendships.

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Fireman Sam joins in as well by leading the fire prevention team in all kinds of courageous and daring exploits. In the town of Pontypandy, Fireman Sam helps people remember the importance of fire safety.

Despite the problems caused by young troublemaker Norman Price, Fireman Sam saves the day time and again. He makes a bold helicopter rescue, conquers a forest fire and finds missing people — all with the help of his friends and their rescue dog.

Contained on the DVD are several bonus features, including read-along adventures, music videos, character galleries and games. This is a video kids will love watching while parents love what they are learning.

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. You can email her at mddemoux@gmail.com or follow her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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