The Little Engine That Could
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Watty Piper's classic picture book The Little Engine That Could has been inspiring and engaging young children since it was first published in 1930. Not only does the cheerful, hardworking Little Engine's positive attitude ("I think I can, I think I can") encourage children to try their best, but also the pictures in this classic edition make a memorable, enjoyable tool for teaching children about colors, objects, and numbers. For children new to the story, there's a bit of suspense over whether the train will make it over the mountain, but nothing in the least frightening, and kids familiar with the book will still enjoy that arc over and over. Note that there are other editions of this book, with different illustrations, but it's worth tracking down this classic version.
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What's the Story?
This classic edition of THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD was first published in 1930, by \"Watty Piper,\" a pen name of Arnold Munk, who was a partner in the book's original publishing company, Platt & Munk. Versions of the story had previously appeared in magazines and anthologies, but his was the first version in book form. Little Engine begins with descriptions of a happy little train engine pulling a full load of cargo, on its way to children on the other side of the mountain. In the train is food -- including apples, oranges, bottles of milk, and more -- and toys for children to play with. When the happy engine breaks down, a toy clown asks other engines to pull the train over the mountain, with no success, until the cheerful Little Engine says, \"I think I can.\"
Is It Any Good?
The Little Engine That Could is still a must-read for young children. Not only is the engaging story as charming and encouraging as can be, the illustrations by George and Doris Hauman are delicious to pore over with a youngster who's learning to count, or identify objects and colors. There are other editions of this book, with different illustrations, but it's worth tracking down this classic version, which kids have loved and remembered for generations.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether Little Engine tried his best. Does it help when you try your best?
Look at the pictures in the book. Can you count how many apples? How many lollipops?
If the Little Engine was pulling this train to your house, what things would you want for yourself? Dolls? Oranges? Spinach?
- Author: Watty Piper
- Illustrator: George and Doris Hauman
- Genre: Picture Book
- Topics: Trains
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Penguin Group
- Publication date: January 1, 1930
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 3 - 5
- Number of pages: 32
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle, App
- Last updated: December 14, 2018
Our Editors Recommend
Ultimate going-to-bed book has stood the test of time.
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Rhyming classic is a sure winner with kids.
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