I fear being one of the few to not be crazy over this book, but I have to admit that this book is far from being my top pick from our son's "library."
The stories themselves are great - we'd have no Thomas the Tank Engine without them, after all - and the illustrations are good as well. However, I feel like there is a pretty big text:picture ratio such that this book is not as engrossing to a young child, even a Thomas devotee, as one might expect. This is less and less of a problem as my child gets older, but when we first started to read this book - somewhere between 2 and 2 1/2 - my son would rapidly lose interest in the stories, look away from the book, squirm to get off my lap, etc. Now that he is just a week shy of 3, it seems he has grown into this somewhat, but I still have a problem with the book itself, physically speaking.
This is a BIG book.
I like to read to my son sitting in the glider, with him sitting in my lap. This lets him see the pictures and become familiar with the words as I read them. It is rather akward and uncomfortable for me to hold this particular book in this particular fashion, due to its size and weight. I have to either hold it up, which gets tiring on the wrists and forearms very quickly, or I have to rest it in my son's lap, which makes him tell me to get it off (to such a small person, it probably feels like it is crushing him). I feel like this book is more suited to sitting next to your child's bed and reading aloud, every so often turning the book to show the pictures, but I prefer to hold my child in my lap and will probably do so for a good while yet.
We have since gotten a few of the thin, square, soft-cover "picture back" Thomas books and these seem to work a lot better for us. They are not the "original" stories (at least, the ones we have aren't) but they are still entertaining and feature all of the same beloved characters (and them some!) The drawings are nice and there seem to be more illustrations per section of text. Plus, they are a lot easier to hold at the same time you are holding your child, so story time can be relaxing and enjoyable. I suggest starting with those, and moving on to this book as your child gets older.