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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel [Paperback]

Virginia Lee Burton
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 10.99
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Book Description

Oct. 12 1977 Sandpiper Books
A modern classic that no child should miss. Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship, and to old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity.

Frequently Bought Together

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel + Katy and the Big Snow + The Little House: Her Story
Price For All Three: CDN$ 29.22


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Product Description

From Amazon

Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne make quite a team. The inseparable duo digs the great canals for the big boats to travel through, cuts through the large mountains so trains can pass, and hollows out the deep cellars for the great skyscrapers in the city. But the introduction of gasoline, electric, and diesel shovels means big trouble for Mike and Mary Anne. No one wants an old-fashioned steam shovel like Mary Anne when a modern shovel can do the digging in half the time! Forced to travel far out of the city to look for work, Mike and Mary Anne find themselves in the little town of Popperville. Mike and Mary Anne make a bid to dig the cellar for the new town hall, promising the town that if they can't dig the cellar in just one day they'll accept no payment for the job. Will Mike and Mary Anne be able to complete the job? The whole town of Popperville turns out to watch. Virginia Lee Burton, author of such classic children's books as The Little House and Katy and the Big Snow, offers a touching portrait of love and dedication while commenting on the modernization that continuously shapes our lives. Hamilton's wonderful crayon drawings bring Mike and the indomitable Mary Anne to life. (Ages 3 to 6)

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-This longtime children's favorite, first published in 1939, has never lost its appeal. Now, it has been translated into simple, easily understood Spanish. After working together for many years, Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Anne, are told that their services are no longer needed. Not one to give up easily, Mike proposes that he and Mary Anne will excavate the basement for the new town hall in only one day. The whole town gathers around the work site to see how this indomitable pair will fare in their race against time. The brightly colored, charming crayon drawings add to the cheerfulness of presentation.
Tania Colmant-Donabedian, Queens Borough Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book! July 8 2004
Format:Hardcover
Like so many other reviewers I have fond memories of reading this book as a child. I fondly recall being a child in the 1970's and of having had this book read to me and when I got older and could read on my own I read it myself and I enjoyed the story of Mike Mulligan and his beloved steam shovel Mary Anne and recall this book having positive messages as well as being an entertaining book for children. Mike Mulligan is a steam shovel operator who has named his machine Mary Anne and they have worked very hard for many years digging canels, etc but times have changed and with steam shovels being replaced by electric, gasoline and diesel shovels Mary Anne is thought of as being obsolete but Mike is a very positive and determined man who knows that he and Mary Anne still have what it takes and to prove that he agrees to dig the foundation for a new building but has to do it in one day but he knows that they are up for the challenge. Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel is a wonderful book for children and I think it's good for both boys and girls and I very highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody can do it like a steam shovel March 27 2004
Format:Hardcover
I tend to bring a lot of picture books into my home. My husband doesn't mind, but neither does he show an inordinate amount of interest in them. Enter "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel". Suddenly my husband was elated by the appearance of this book. "This was the only book we had in my Kindergarten class!", quoth he. After he'd picked through it once more, I had my chance to glance through the story. Admittedly, I did not know of the adventures of Mike Mulligan or trusty Mary Ann until rather late in life. But looking at my hubby's gleeful expression on seeing it again, I know that this is one of those classics that sits in the back of the memory for years and years and years.
Mike Mulligan (Irish, according to the book flap) runs a delightful steam shovel named Mary Ann. The opening spread shows Mike waving at the viewer, while meticulous arrows indicate every lever, cog, and line in Mary Ann's hull. In a rather John Henryish turn of events, Mary Ann is eventually determined to be obsolete in the face of the fancier gasoline, electric and Diesel shovels. Mike refuses to give up his precious steam shovel, however, and a race to prove that Mary Ann can dig as much in a day as a hundred men can dig in a week explodes in a riveting (ho ho) finish.
Books about trucks, construction equipment, and planes is commonplace today. But such modern day classics as "I Stink" owe a great debt to the path that "Mike Mulligan" paved. Here we have a beautifully illustrated (in color at that!) story about two of the best friends in the world. Those kids interested in the technical aspects of steam shovels will be in heaven. And those that just like a rip-roaring yarn about a race against the clock will have a ball as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Little Encougaement Goes A Long Way March 12 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In this story, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel Mary Anne, are the best and fastest diggers, untill the new high tech equiptment come around. Although Mike and Mary Anne are still the best and fastest, they get replaced just because they arn't the "new thing". When they hear about a job in Popperville, they head out to see if they will be able to get it, since they haven't had work in so long. They get the job, but only have one day to get the job done, otherwise, they won't get payed. Fortunalty, there are many people there to watch them work, which makes them work faster and better. Mike and Mary Anne come across a few problems along the way, though. You should read this story and find out what happens.
I think this story is great. It shows that new things arn't always as good as the old. Also, it shows that teamwork can get you where you want to be. In addition to that, it shows that encouagement helps out too. If you have people behind you and cheering you on, you usually do better. I think you should read this book, find out what happens, and learn from it.
~Hope K
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Encougaement Goes A Long Way March 8 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
In this story, Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel Mary Anne, are the best and fastest diggers, untill the new high tech equiptment come around. Although Mike and Mary Anne are still the best and fastest, they get replaced just because they arn't the "new thing". When they hear about a job in Popperville, they head out to see if they will be able to get it, since they haven't had work in so long. They get the job, but only have one day to get the job done, otherwise, they won't get payed. Fortunalty, there are many people there to watch them work, which makes them work faster and better. Mike and Mary Anne come across a few problems along the way, though. You should read this story and find out what happens.
I think this story is great. It shows that new things arn't always as good as the old. Also, it shows that teamwork can get you where you want to be. In addition to that, it shows that encouagement helps out too. If you have people behind you and cheering you on, you usually do better. I think you should read this book, find out what happens, and learn from it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Winner Never Quits! May 18 2002
Format:Paperback
Oh how wonderful this book is, in so many different ways. Written in the 40s, its illustrations hark back to an earlier era, when children were allowed to be children, and when the values we taught them were couched in terms that a child could understand. Instead of violence and video games.
Mike Mulligan and his faithful steam shovel Mary Ann have been "downsized," if you will, by the advent of gasoline-powered engines, and other "modern miracles" that have made poor, faithful Mary Ann obsolete overnight. In order to find work, Mike and Mary Ann travel over hill and dale until they come to the small town of Popperville. There, they find that the town mayor is taking bids to dig the basement for a brand-new skyscraper. Mike makes a bid, and is met with laughter. But instead of giving up...INSTEAD OF GIVING UP...he makes a deal. He and Mary Ann will dig the basement in one day. If they don't make it, they won't accept payment.
The valiant steamshovel and the equally valiant Mike set off to prove to the world that they are not obsolete, not worthless...just because they are old, just because they are now different, they still have value! And they dig, and they dig, and they dig. And soon they have attracted a large audience, all of whom are pulling for the team to win, even though it seems impossible.
In the end, Mike and Mary Ann have prevailed. They have dug the basement in one day! But just when they are being celebrated as heroes, a terrible problem arises. Mary Ann cannot get back out of the hole. What is to happen? Was it all for nothing?
The ingenious solution to the problem, and the sheer joy of the solution, warms my heart as much today as it ever did. This is a wonderful way of teaching children to persevere, to glory in their "otherness" and to grab life with both hands. It is a treasure, a classic becaue it deserves to be.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING Children's story
This book was in my house more than it was in the library I constantly borrowed it from. A phenomenal original story, gorgeous graphics and loveable characters. Read more
Published 15 months ago by David J. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved it as a child, my childern love it too.
I couldn't wait until my twins were old enough for Mike. They're now 2 1/2 and love hearing about Mike and Mary Anne. Read more
Published on May 23 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Friends
Just thinking about this delightful book makes me smile. I remember Captain Kangaroo reading it on his television show, and I checked it out from the Bookmobile with my own library... Read more
Published on April 9 2004 by A. Pollick
5.0 out of 5 stars A story that never gets old
My son loves this book and I love reading it to him. It will quickly become a favorite in your house too.
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Jim S
5.0 out of 5 stars My almost 3 year old LOVES it
I vaguely remembered this book from childhood and hadn't seen it around lately so wondered if it was maybe not PC, somehow, so I checked it out from the library and was thrilled... Read more
Published on July 28 2003 by Elizabeth
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Classic
I got this book back in 1978 when i was 3... and i still read it from time to time... I cant wait to share it with my children...
Published on June 14 2003 by "frankule"
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic boys book
Wonderful book of recycling and perseverance. Great illustrations although rememiscent of the 50's-which is good. A library favorite-husband favorite - my family loves this book.
Published on May 28 2003 by Betsy Blueberry
5.0 out of 5 stars Just as Good as When I was Eight!
I got this book when my daughter was 3 years old because I loved it when I got it in 1967! She adores it! Read more
Published on April 9 2003 by Shopping Maven
4.0 out of 5 stars Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel
This book is about finding out that something or someone can still be useful and helpful even when other people might not think so. Read more
Published on April 6 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel
This wonderful book is a classic. It is about Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, named Mary Anne. They are the fastest digging team around. Read more
Published on March 11 2003 by Ben
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