The Little Engine That Could

App review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
The Little Engine That Could App Poster Image
Book adaptation uses voice-overs instead of text.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

The narrative plays automatically so there's no page-turning involved. Kids can interact with the story at several points, including loading the train with toys by dragging them into the freight cars, and tapping the screen to select the color of the Little Engine.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Little Engine That Could is a digital version of the classic children's story in which a little engine is able to pull a heavy trainload of toys up a steep mountain through positive thinking ("I think I can!"). The text of the story does not appear in the book -- it just has voice-over narration -- so kids can't practice their reading skills.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 2, 5, and 11-year-old Written byMontyMom June 7, 2011

New update is much improved!

The app recently had a major update that includes text for reading along. Also, there are great activities like loading the train, playing the sounds of the tr... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byalr08053002 February 10, 2017
Kid, 9 years old January 2, 2011

Is it any good?

THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD isn't a typical digital book adaptation because there's no on-screen text for kids to follow. Instead, they'll listen as voice-overs narrate the story accompanied by animated pictures. The music is a little overbearing, but the voice acting and graphics are great. There are a handful of interactive moments -- like tapping the screen to choose the color of the engine and load the toys onto the train -- but for the most part it's like watching a cartoon.

App details

  • Device: iPad
  • Price: $3.99
  • Release date: November 29, 2010
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Publisher: Once Upon an App
  • Version: 1.01
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 3.2 or later
  • Last updated: August 25, 2016

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