Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

4.2 38
by Virginia Lee Burton
     
 

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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.

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.

Editorial Reviews

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
Barnes & Noble Staff

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395259399
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
10/28/1977
Series:
Sandpiper Book Series
Edition description:
None
Pages:
48
Sales rank:
45,671
Product dimensions:
9.38(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.23(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

What People are saying about this

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

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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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
ILvBksMusicArt More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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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wendydarby More than 1 year ago
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 More than 1 year ago
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).
AnaLeigh63 More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago