It's no secret that I hate Thomas the Tank Engine. I hate most moralising children's shows but I reserve particular venom for Thomas despite the fact I loved the stories when younger and have seen a marvelous stage show.
Thomas and his friends are a whiny bunch of disobedient brats; everything about them is gloomy and miserable and tedious. There is no joy and to top it off, every new series has half-a-dozen pointless new characters crow-barred in solely for the merchandising opportunity.
I hate Thomas which is not to say that we don't own quite a lot of Thomas kit. It's unavoidable and part of the reason why I have a particularly soft spot for other, less overtly commercial offerings; 'Pingu', for example, 'Miu Mao' the fabulous Italian claymation cats; and Peppa Pig.
Years ago a friend of mine informed me that her three-year-old son loved Peppa Pig and I was slightly bemused as to why a boy would like a show focused on a pink girl-pig but the moment the spud was old enough to watch TV I understood. Peppa, like Pingu and the cats, is all about fun; there is no harsh moral. Sometimes someone might be a little bit naughty, often things go a bit wrong but there's no breast-beating; only kindness and funny and pigs falling about laughing.
I love Peppa Pig. In fact, I may possibly have just the teeniest tiniest crush on Daddy Pig, as it happens.
We already have two Peppa DVDs - it was Peppa who informed my spud that Santa comes down the chimney; Peppa who showed him that it is OK to jump into a muddy puddle and Peppa who makes him laugh at me every time we hear that Peppa's Mummy loves her computer.
We probably wouldn't have bought the latest DVD however having been given it for review, I have to say that if you have a boy who loves Peppa or who hasn't met her yet, this is officially your DVD. It's called 'Peppa Pig: The Fire Engine and other stories' and in it, Peppa goes on a train, a fire engine, a rocket and there's even a pirate episode. Seriously, all she needs to do now is to go on a bus and an airplane and the spud might never watch anything again. Until he's buying porn on the internet in 10 years time, that is.
Oh, and by the way, the nice Peppa Pig folks have given me an extra copy of "Peppa Pig: The Fire Engine" to pass on to one of you if you can tell me in 20 words or so why you love Peppa (or hate Thomas) and make me laugh in the process - UK format only, I believe.
I only have one copy to give away though so funniest wins, as judged by me and a team of Mummy mates, next Friday.