The Little Engine That Could: Deluxe Edition

Overview

The classic tale of persevering against the odds!

The Little Engine That Could comes to life all over again in this gorgeous oversized picture book with foil on the cover and the beautiful art from the 1950s. A train of toys desperately need an engine to take them over the mountain so that they can deliver toys and food to children. But none of the big, important engines will help them. Luckily, the Little Blue Engine comes along. She is small,...

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Overview

The classic tale of persevering against the odds!

The Little Engine That Could comes to life all over again in this gorgeous oversized picture book with foil on the cover and the beautiful art from the 1950s. A train of toys desperately need an engine to take them over the mountain so that they can deliver toys and food to children. But none of the big, important engines will help them. Luckily, the Little Blue Engine comes along. She is small, but she has confidence that she can do it-and she does!

Grosset & Dunlap and Penguin Young Readers Group are proud sponsors of Starlight Children's Foundation. Grosset & Dunlap will make a donation from the sales of this edition of The Little Engine That Could to Starlight Children's Foundation, enabling the organization to continue to make a world of difference for seriously ill children and their families.

Although he is not very big, the Little Blue Engine agrees to try to pull a stranded train full of toys over the mountain.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
"I think I can. I think I can." Watty Piper's 1930 story about the Little Blue Engine who believed that he could is one of those rare books that speak to us from another era. A heartening gift for children, ages 4 to 8.
Publishers Weekly
Long (I Dream of Trains) pays respectful homage to George and Doris Hauman's compositions in his visual interpretation of the classic tale of determination and perseverance, first published in 1930. Yet the artist adds a lushness to the spreads and injects even more personality into the characters; he uses the larger format to play up the vistas of mountain and valley that pose such a challenge to the engines on this route, and gives "the funniest little toy clown you ever saw" a starring role. A cheerful purple elephant whose eyes droop as one engine after another declines to pull their load, a pair of pull-toys containing curious giraffes (their necks bow in disappointment) and a cuddly, expressive stuffed monkey are among the supporting cast. The spacious spreads also allow for a more dramatic flow of the text (the original often broke a paragraph in the middle of a climactic moment). Long adorns the different engines with wry human characteristics. The cowcatcher of the haughty Shiny New Engine resembles teeth exposed by a snarl, while the Rusty Old Engine (who says, "I can not. I can not") sports a smokestack in the shape of a dilapidated top hat, a mop of gray hair and a monocle. The piece de resistance is the brave Little Blue Engine that could, with bright blue eyes in place of windows, a wide smile and-while chugging up that daunting mountain-a pink tongue protruding from her mouth. Both faithful fans and newcomers will enjoy this triumphant ride and eagerly climb aboard for repeat excursions. Ages 3-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-This classic tale has been re-released with updated illustrations and a larger format. The text remains the same. The art, done with acrylics, is stylized and still retains a bit of an old-fashioned flavor. Nevertheless, the '30s look is definitely gone. In its place, readers will find artwork suggestive of a retro '50s look. As with the original, the clown takes center stage. His outfit, however, has changed from green polka dots to red pants, yellow shirt, and a colorful stocking cap. The text, with its, "I think I can, I think I can" refrain, is a timeless piece of children's literature and so familiar that it needs no elaboration. It's hard to improve upon a classic, and one advantage that the traditional edition has over this one is that the quaint and sentimental text pairs nicely with the "antique" artwork. The modern illustrations undoubtedly work better with a group but they have a faux feel to them. As such they are a little out of sync with the prim and proper style of writing in the story about the "good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain [who will be] without the wonderful toys to play with and the good food to eat-." Nevertheless, this is an acceptable purchase, especially for those libraries without a copy of the first edition or larger libraries wishing to collect all versions of classic tales.-Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A genuine meme came into the language from this beloved story, now reaching its fourth generation of children. It's still an enchanting tale of a little train filled with toys, books, fruit, milk and treats for "all those good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain." Long has enriched this new edition with bountiful illustrations that take their palette and inspiration from the original, but are greatly enhanced by imagination and inventiveness, to say nothing of glorious printing. The colors are warmer, richer and fuller, without the dry clear crispness of the first edition. The oversized format allows Long to fill the pages and the imagination with magic like two double-page spreads of toys and treats floating in the air and brilliant perspectives that set the scenes. The trains are curvier, their faces more organic. There is real movement in the rounded lines of the roads and rails as well as the struggle to reach the top. Not a replacement, surely, but a companion, this will travel proudly next to the one that first thought it could. (Picture book. 3-7)
From Barnes & Noble
The tale that turned "I think I can" into a watchword for determination and stick-to-it-iveness, this children's classic recounts the story of a valiant little engine that comes to the rescue of a stranded train. 10" x 12". Ages 2-8
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780448452579
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/29/2009
  • Series: Little Engine That Could Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 296,687
  • Age range: 6 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.50 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Loren Long grew up in Lexington, Kentucky. He pursued graduate-level studies at the American Academy of Art in Chicago after graduating with a BA in Graphic Design/Art Studio from the University of Kentucky. After graduation Long worked as an illustrator for a greeting card company in Cincinnati before beginning his career as a freelance illustrator.

Since then, Long has received numerous accolades for his fluid WPA painting style. He has been awarded two gold medals from the Society of Illustrators in New York, and has been frequently selected for their annual exhibition and book. His work has also appeared in many other major annual exhibitions such as American Illustration, Communication Arts, Step By Step Graphics and Print.

Long’s clients include Time Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Atlantic Monthly, Boy’s Life, Land’s End, Sports Illustrated and HBO. He has also illustrated book covers for numerous publishers and has recently concentrated on illustrating books for young readers where his work has garnered much recognition and praise.

Recent awards/accolades:

2002

The United Nations chose to hang in their lobby Long’s painting of a firefighter in action, along with 21 other selections from the Prevailing Human Spirit Show at the Society of Illustrators.

2003

Recipient of the Golden Kite Award for picture book illustration, presented by the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators for I Dream of Trains. The book was also selected as one of the New York Public Library’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, 2003.

2004

Winner of the Parents' Choice Gold Award.

Illustrates New York Times #1 best-seller, Mr. Peabody’s Apples

To learn more about Loren Long and his books, go to www.lorenlong.com

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Interviews & Essays

An interview with Loren Long

How long have you been an artist?

I have been an artist professionally in capacity or another since I got out of school 15 years ago. When did you first feel the artistic urge?

My mother tells how I would draw Snoopy over and over from the "funny" papers lying on the kitchen floor as a four-year-old. I don't remember the kitchen floor, but I do remember loving Snoopy.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Joplin, Missouri (in the Snoopy era) but moved to Lexington, Kentucky at the age of five and grew up in Lexington.

What were you like as a child?

I had a very conventional childhood and a wonderful family. Like many kids growing up in the mid-west, I loved sports, especially baseball. I was an average student and a bit of a dreamer. I loved to draw and as time passed I felt that I was better in the arts than anything else. Shortly after my Little League years, I realized I would never make the 25 man roster of the Cincinnati Reds so I figured I better start painting pictures.

Have you always wanted to illustrate books for children?

It was always in the back of my mind but I spent many years after school working as a freelance illustrator for many different magazines or anyone else who would call. I feel those years helped me to develop my so-called direction.

Where do you do your work?

I have a suitably un-glamorous studio in the basement of my home. I like being able to live and work under the same roof so I am here when my boys get off the school bus. Besides, I've always felt that having a romantic freestanding studio overlooking a valley like N.C. Wyeth had with huge windows and north light was terribly over-rated ... right?

What different mediums to you use in your art?

At the moment, I work with acrylic paint on either canvas or panels.

What do you like best about your job?

I love the visual storytelling aspect of the work. I love creating images. I feel challenged everyday. Every time I start a new piece of art, there is a chance I could fail. It's both irritating and inspiring at the same time.

Who are your favorite artists?

Mostly, I love the work that was being done in America in the early part of the twentieth century. The Ashcan School painters, the American Regionalists of the 20s and 30s. the Harlem Renaissance artists as well as the WPA muralists. Artists like Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, Edward Hopper, John Sloan, and George Bellows to name a few of the bigger names. And, of course, I can't leave out the illustrators of that time like N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish among others.

Did you have favorite artists/art styles as a child?

Not having any artists in my family, I really did not have early artistic influences as a child ... just Charles Schulz.

Where do you get the inspiration for your art?

I imagine much of my inspiration comes from the things around me. I get a lot of inspiration from my two young sons and my wife who has an accounting background.

Do you ever get "painter's" block?

I'd like to call it that, but that would be a convenient excuse for plain old procrastination.

What do you like to do when you're not painting?

When I am not painting, I like hanging with my wife Tracy and our boys. I like movies and I am an avid kayak enthusiast (even though I have only done it once).

Who influenced you in becoming an artist?

Even though they had no art background, my parents encouraged me to find something I was passionate about. My mother refused to allow me to be lazy and waste a God given ability. I'm glad now that she stayed on my case.

You have a fabulous sense of color; where does this come from?

Boy, the color thing has always been a challenge for me. I'll just say it has been one of my biggest artistic issues and I am flattered and pleased that anyone thinks highly of my color.

In creating the art for The Little Engine That Could(tm), was their some aspect of the story that was really new? A surprise even to you?

I suppose the most obvious departure that I wanted to explore was to create new, unique, and appealing individual characters of the trains and toys in this legendary story. It was new for me as an artist to create smiling trains and sad little toy animals and this was without a doubt the most surprisingly fun aspect of the project for me.

Did you know The Little Engine That Could(tm), as a child?

I knew the Little Engine well as a child ... it certainly was one of my favorite stories. I have uttered those famous words, "I think I can" to myself throughout my life ... even while working on this very book! I feel very honored and humbled to have been able to create new art for this meaningful children's book that has been a part of so many of our lives.

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