This article is about 'the Thomas Story Time book'. You may be looking for 'the episode or the magazine story'.
“You have been a Really Useful Engine! And that's no joke!”
―Sir Topham Hatt talking to Charlie

Not Now, Charlie! is a Thomas Story Time book.


Charlie's favourite jokes are about elephants. Not everyone likes them, but sometimes they cannot help laughing. One day, Charlie sees an elephant on the side of the tracks. He is worried that the elephant is in danger, so he goes to get help.

Charlie chuffs back down the track and finds Thomas. He tells him about the elephant, but Thomas thinks he is joking, so he puffs away with his passengers. Later, Charlie sees Percy with a goods train and tells him about the elephant too, but Percy does not believe him either.

Charlie begins to wonder if he has even seen an elephant, but as he passes the Sodor Animal Park, he sees that a tree has fallen and broken the fence. He can see right into the elephant enclosure. Charlie realises that he has indeed seen an elephant, and it has escaped.

Charlie chuffs to the Docks to warn the engines. Henry is scared to hear that an elephant is on the loose, but Thomas reassures him that it is only one of Charlie's jokes. Charlie needs to find someone who will believe him. He puffs to the Sodor Search and Rescue Centre and tells Harold about the elephant. Harold immediately believes him and goes with Charlie to find the elephant.

Harold spots the elephant under a bridge near Brendam Docks. The elephant is loaded into Charlie's special truck. The engines are very surprised to see the elephant, and realise that Charlie had not been joking after all. Charlie drops off the elephant at the Animal Park, and everyone is relieved to see that it is safe and sound. Sir Topham Hatt is proud of Charlie and calls him a really useful engine, and adds that it is not a joke!




  • There is a printing error on one page, as part of Charlie's face and bufferbeam look out of place.