A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there's no objectionable content in this book. Lively drawings and simple text encourage kids to chime in, and the story has an unusually satisfying ending.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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