Title: The Little Engine That CouldThe Little Engine That Could
Author: Watty Piper
Illustrators: George & Doris Hauman
Pages: 40
Recommended Ages: Read Aloud
Star Rating: ★★★★

I’ve read this book many times to clamoring children. “Miss Laura will you read us this book? And that one? And forty others?” And although many stories are beloved by children, this one is usually a real favorite. Why is that?

Well, first off the story holds their attention. The little train is headed over the mountain with a load of fun things for all of the good little boys and girls who live in the valley. There are stuffed animals, airplanes, books, puzzles, and jolly things to eat, too. Then the engine breaks down. Oh no! Maybe a returning engine will be able to help them!

But the first two engines they encounter are too stuffed up with their importance as passenger and freight trains to take any notice of such an “unimportant” little load. The third is suffering from a real bout of self-pity. No, it isn’t until the fourth engine comes along – a tiny engine with the willingness but perhaps not the strength – that the load is finally moved over the mountain and distributed among the fine boys and girls who live in the valley.

So you can see how these are stakes that would interest a child. For what greater travesty could befall than that the good little boys and girls not receive a reward for their goodness? The answer is NONE.

Also, as each page contains a colorful illustration, the sprightly style holds children’s visual attention.

Conclusion. So long as you’re fine with the idea of talking trains and stuffed animals, this is a great selection.

Review © 2014 Laura Verret

2 Responses to The Little Engine That Could

  1. Mrs. Watt says:

    One thing I did notice in the is book was that all the bad trains are male. The little weak female train with the good attitude comes to the rescue. And the only male with a good attitude is a clown. This makes me laugh.

    Reply
    • Ha, I didn’t even notice those things! I guess making the Little Engine a female just emphasized that determination, not muscles, is what saves the day. :)

      Reply

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