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52 Reviews
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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.
A MUST for any family with big imaginations
Published 15 months ago by David J. Campbell

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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Discouraging no one cares about rigid gender roles
It's discouraging to me that no one even mentions the extremely rigid gender roles in this book (straight out of the early 1950s). All the fireMEN are MEN, all the policeMEN are MEN, there is no gender neutral language, and worse, all the girls and women are in totally old fashioned roles...
I can't stand it, and the book isn't that great anyway..
Published on Nov. 24 2001 by Susan McGee


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5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING Children's story, May 2 2013
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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.
A MUST for any family with big imaginations
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5.0 out of 5 stars DIG UP THIS BOOK AND TREASURE IT! IT IS A CLASSIC!, Aug. 19 2000
By 
BeatleBangs1964 (United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
I have loved this book since I was a very little girl. My favorite uncle was a construction worker and all of my life I have had nothing but the deepest respect for these skilled workers who provide much needed services. A large part of Mike's appeal is his hard driven work ethic (like my uncle), the cool trucks and construction equipment (like my uncle used) and of course, his ultimate success.
Need I add that my favorite uncle liked Mike, too?
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5.0 out of 5 stars I Loved This Book!, July 8 2004
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 I loved it as a child, my childern love it too., May 24 2004
By A Customer
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. A great story of friendship, taking pride in one's work and problem solving. Never mind the 1939 date, this story works forever. I now get to read it at least twice a day and it never gets old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Friends, April 9 2004
By 
A. Pollick "80s chick" (S.E. USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Paperback)
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 card.
Mike Mulligan and Mary Ann are best friends and co-workers. They might be running out of work soon, though, since Mary Ann runs on steam--not as efficient as the diesel shovels. A bargain with the town of Popperville gives the twosome one last shot to strut their stuff, and as the town gathers, a few residents at a time, Mike and Mary Ann prove that friendship lasts, even when diesel shovels take over.
This book is equally appealing to boys and girls, and it will forever occupy a favored place in my memories. It's as wonderful a story today as it was when published in 1939. God bless Mike and Mary Ann.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody can do it like a steam shovel, March 27 2004
By 
E. R. Bird "Ramseelbird" (Manhattan, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. Interestingly, author/illustrator Virginia Lee Burton chooses not to close up on Mike Mulligan's face at any point. When we do see him, he's usually viewed at a distance, waving, weeping, and smoking to his heart's content. It's Mary Ann that get the full frontal treatment, and she's a joy. Who could have thought a steam shovel to be so eloquent and emotional? That's the joy of this story and the genius of Virginia Lee Burton's masterwork.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A story that never gets old, Feb. 26 2004
By 
Jim S (White Plains, NY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Paperback)
My son loves this book and I love reading it to him. It will quickly become a favorite in your house too.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My almost 3 year old LOVES it, July 28 2003
By 
Elizabeth (Elon, NC USA) - See all my reviews
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 that while it has some MILDLY sexist language, "girl who answers the telephones" instead of woman or lady, It is a charming and relevant story of overcoming obstacles and maybe even depression. My son loves it. I just hope his personal copy arrives before I have to take the library copy back! He is mesmerized by the illustrations and the little boy, especially. The emotions evidently speak to him, also. He is very empathetic and concerned that Mike and Mary Anne are sad when they have no work. I would highly recommend it, even though it's hard to explain about obsolescence to an almost three year old.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Classic, June 14 2003
This review is from: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (Paperback)
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...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic boys book, May 28 2003
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Betsy Blueberry (Douglas, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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.
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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (Paperback - Oct. 12 1977)
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