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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

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Overview


A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred ...
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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

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Overview


A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.

Mike Mulligan proves that, although dated, his steam shovel is still useful.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Although steam shovels are being replaced by more modern machines, Mike Mulligan refuses to consign his beloved Mary Anne to the junk heap. Desperate for work, Mike promises to dig the cellar of Popperville's new town hall in just one day--or go without pay. All the townsfolk gather to watch Mike and Mary Anne in their race against the sun. They win, but in his haste, Mike forgets a very important detail. First published in 1939, this classic is full of informative illustrations, including a diagram of a steam shovel.

From the Publisher

"This is fun both in its text and gray crayon drawings. Mike Mulligan remains faithful to his steam shovel Mary Anne, against the threat of the new gas and diesel-engine contraptions, and digs his way to a surprising and happy ending." The New Yorker
New Yorker
"This is fun both in its text and gay crayon drawings. Mike Mulligan remains faithful to his steam shovel, Mary Anne, against the threat of the new gas and Diesel-engine contraptions and digs his way to a surprising and happy ending." -- The New Yorker
Children's Literature - Jeanne K. Pettenati
Mary Anne, the faithful steam shovel that successfully dug canals, mountain roads, highways, and foundations for years, is facing unemployment in the modern age. Steam shovels are being replaced by gasoline shovels, electric shovels and diesel motor shovels. Mary Anne and her owner, Mike Mulligan, stop getting called for jobs. "No Steam Shovels Wanted" read the signs. Steam shovels are being sold for junk. Mike knows that Mary Anne could still dig as much in a day as a hundred men could in a week. So, when he reads that a new town hall will be built in Popperville, Mike and Mary Anne race over there with a proposition. Mike says that Mary Ann will dig the cellar for the new town hall in just one day; if it is not done, the town will not have to pay. The challenge is on! On the morning they begin, a little boy comes by and Mike tells him to stay and watch so that they will work faster and better. As the day wears on, more people come by to watch and, sure enough, Mary Anne digs faster and better. Although the cellar is finished at the end of the day, an unforeseen problem threatens to wreck the deal. The people of Popperville are up in arms until the little boy thinks of a perfect solution. A CD with two readings (one with page-turn signals and one without) and a paperback copy of the book are packaged in a reusable plastic case. First published in 1939, this book has become an American classic. Children will appreciate the relationship that Mike Mulligan has with his beloved steam shovel. The respect and dignity he shows towards Mary Anne, his long-time work partner, is an important lesson for all children. The fact that a little boy outsmarts the town officials in coming up with asolution for Mary Anne will not be lost on readers. The cheerful illustrations depict an earlier era when life was full of simple pleasures. This title is one in the publishers' "A Read-Along Book and CD Favorite" series.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395259399
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 10/28/1977
  • Series: Sandpiper Book Series
  • Edition description: None
  • Edition number: 60
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 38,725
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 820L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.13 (d)

Meet the Author


Virginia Lee Burton (1909-1968) was the talented author and illustrator of some of the most enduring books ever written for children. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for THE LITTLE HOUSE, Burton's books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia. She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans. She is the author of many classic children's picture books, including MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL and KATY AND THE BIG SNOW.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 38 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(26)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 38 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A classic in the truest sense of the word

    I'm probably dating myself, but I love this book and remember precisely the first time I discovered it. Long ago, in a much less tech-savvy world, there was a beloved television show for children called "Captain Kangaroo" - I'll let whoever else might remember Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose, ping-pong balls and Mr. Green Jeans tell their own kids about it, if they dare...my daughter swears I had to have been hallucinating! They often had books that the Captain would read, and they somehow "animated" the actual illustrations from the books - at least you believed things were moving, although most times it was just moving from one image to another.

    It was really a kind of serious topic for a children's book...Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (whose name was Mary Anne) are hard workers that lose their job when progress comes marching into town. Progress means faster, better, sooner and Mike and Mary Anne can't keep up the pace. They take on one last job as a challenge - to dig out the town cellar for the city of Popperville.

    This book is definitely to be kept with other classics, like "Bedtime for Frances" and "Corduroy" - people from my generation will delight in seeing the old illustrations and stories, and I guarantee that anyone who reads this book will never forget how it ends. Perfectly.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2014

    Highly Recommend - a classic

    This is a timeless classic for children. Our son loved it, and we are now buying it for our great nephews as a baby present. A true treasure!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2012

    One of my favorite books from about 70 years ago. Still remembe

    One of my favorite books from about 70 years ago. Still remember the story line and am looking for a copy for our 8th grandchild. still have my copy somewherein this house we have lived in for 40 years.

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  • Posted December 25, 2010

    love this book

    one book i remeber from childhood and enjoy reading with my kids. It still akes me choke up at the sweet ending and the enduring spirit.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2010

    A Classic for Kids of All Ages

    I love this book. It has a great message of heart and environmentalism. What a great way to recycle! I purchased this book for my best friend's son and I hope it becomes one of his favorites (he's only 2 months old).

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  • Posted March 2, 2010

    Wonderful!

    Bought this for my nephew. He loved it! Wanted to read it over and over. Especially great for boys who are fans of all things construction-related. But it's a wonderful story for all. I was a fan as a little girl.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2010

    read this story uncountable times

    Is there anyone who doesn't like this story? It is a great lesson for kids of all ages. I read this to my kids 20some years ago and I purchase it as a gift for baby showers, birthdays and this year as a donation to underprivilaged families.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2010

    Great for reading to a child

    Terific old fashioned kids' book with great sound effects. Children love this book. It should be used to read aloud to a child. Teaches the good old fashioned ethic of hard work being rewarded.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    We Like Mike!

    Mike Mulligan never grows old. I read it as a child, and have read it over and over and over again to all of my own children. It is a favorite regardless of gender. The language has a wonderful rhythm to it that makes it a pleasure to read aloud, and the timeless story is captivating.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2009

    Mike Mulligan

    This was one of my favorite books in grade school. I was thrilled to find it so I can share it with my grandkids!

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  • Posted July 20, 2009

    Great for a child who loves machines

    My son is totally captivated by Mike Mulligan. He is perfectly happy to have me reading this book to him every day. Introduces the concept of new technology replacing old, but also looking at ways that old technology can be adapted for other uses. Charming book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2009

    Childrens' books

    I was delighted with this order. Actually it was for my great-grandchildren but I had fun reviewing them. Brought back many memories of reading, repeatedly, Mike Mulligan to my own. My son even remarked about the bedtime stories that he remembered. I'm so happy I found that you have so many available.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    Great Classic

    Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel is a timeless classic, eventhough steamshovels don't exist anymore. The story tells about how time is passing Mike and his steamshovel by, and how the two of them solve the problem. It is also a great lesson in ecology...how things can be re-purposed rather than scraped, just because they are out dated. But mostly, it's a great story to read to kids.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Good Book

    I'd definitely recommend this book. It was a favorite of my husbands growing up, so I bought it for our son. It's a good story, and we enjoy reading it over and over again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2007

    Don't doubt old machinery

    Mike Mulligan proves a good point with his steam shovel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2006

    From Mike Mulligans Mom

    This book was so wonderful because my son IS named Mike Mulligan, and now I get to read this book to my grandson, yes he is also Mike Mulligan..We never get tired of this story and try to share it with everyone

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2005

    Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

    Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton, is an intriguing book for young children. Mike has a steam shovel that is little bit out of the ordinary. For example, she talks. Mike and Mary Anne dig many passageways around their town until one day, improved gasoline and electric shovels arrive. Steam shovels such as Mary Anne are now no longer wanted, and so Mike and Mary Anne become very depressed. One day, they discover that the town of Popperville is going to build a new town hall. Eager to return to work, Mary Anne and Mike announce that they will dig the cellar for the town hall in a day. ¿Impossible,¿ the townspeople say, ¿It takes a hundred men to dig it in a week.¿ Will Mike and Mary Anne complete their job before the day is over? Virginia Lee Burton¿s novel is an excellent book for young readers. Its colorful pictures, including many picturesque landscapes that range from junk yards to town squares, bring the book to life. The writing on the page corresponds to the pictures which are perfect for young readers so they do not have to flip back a couple pages to understand what¿s going on. Lastly, this book has a moral at the end of the story: Everyone has more to offer the world than he or she can possibly imagine.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2001

    This book is WONDERFUL

    This book brings back so many fond childhood memories. I fell in love with Mike and his steam shovel from the first page. No child should grow up with out reading this story. My children will read this book and I hope some day they look back when ever they see this book and remember all the good and care free times of childhood.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2001

    Most memorable book!!!!!

    I loved this book when I was a kid and I still have the original beaten up/slept with copy. I decided that it is time to get a new one (same paperback version but better condition) so my kids can get as much enjoyment out of it as I did. I can still recite most of the book from memory I read it so many times. :o)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2000

    What? No More Steam Shovels? Can't Get Enough!

    Mike Mulligan has a great adventure as he finds a tough time of pleasing the crowd and his boss when he tries to meet a big deadline. Luckily, there is a perfect place for a well loved steam shovel. I loved it as a kid and I still love reading it to my kids.

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