James in a Mess and Other Thomas the Tank Engine Stories is a book illustrated using photographs from the television series.
James gets into a mess with some tar wagons.
- The stories in this book are based on episodes from the television series.
- A photograph from Duck Takes Charge is used.
- In the Thomas' Big Storybook edition, a promo picture of Harold is used.
- In Bertie's Chase, like in the Shining Time Station episode, Washout, the story omits the first scene, starting with Bertie at the crossing.
- A photo in Percy and the Signal is used again in Percy Proves a Point.
- This was one of two books that were not released with an audio cassette, the other being Edward's Exploit and Other Thomas the Tank Engine Stories.
- In the story Bertie's Chase, holes drilled into Bertie's eyes are seen.
- In the story Percy and the Signal, Gordon's front bogie is derailed.
- In the original print, the sentence line "It was such an insult to be reminded of the time a bootlace had been used to mend a hole in his coaches." was divided by a page break, showing that this page ends with the word "an", and the next page starts with the word "insult". This is later corrected in the reprint.
- In the first picture of James in a Mess, Henrietta is not behind Toby in the original print.
- In Percy and the Signal, the term "truck" is used once.
- In the first picture of Percy Proves a Point, a gear is seen behind Percy's rear wheel.