Parents' Guide to

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

By Esther Ehrlich, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Teaches important lessons about faith, friendship.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 5+
This book has to have something about it to have remained in print for so many years. I read it, aged about 6, 52 years ago, and still remember it with great affection. The punning name for the shovel (for people unfamiliar with the real things, Mary Anne is a play on 'Marion', a famous steam-shovel builder) gives it a friendly personality and ties the whimsy in to reality. Great story, with a happy ending.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

A family favorite for more than 60 years, this book is a reassuring slice of nostalgia. With a story as steady and reliable as Mary Anne, it gives kids the opportunity to anticipate what will happen next. Down-to-earth language, with repeating phrases, lets kids become comfortable with the text and join in. One adult who hadn't read the book since childhood was delighted to discover she still remembered key words.

The pictures support the aura of familiarity. No fussy, fancy artwork -- just crayon drawings of rectangular houses with smoke curling from the chimneys, and of the sun, a smiling yellow ball. With such a trustworthy delivery, you can rest assured your kids will absorb the important messages. MIKE MULLIGAN AND HIS STEAM SHOVEL suggests that kids aim high, work hard, and expect to fulfill their dreams.

Book Details

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