Customer Reviews

235
4.2 out of 5 stars
The Little Engine That Could
Format: HardcoverChange
Price:$13.76 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

83 of 87 people found the following review helpful
on October 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This is the first time that the 'Little Engine' has been published as a deluxe picture book. For this reason alone, it is unfair to compare it to the previous editions. The older editions are illustrated with small, simple, colored line drawings rather than lavish, full-page, full-color paintings.

Long's illustrations are beautiful and, in my opinion, suit the story better than the old ones did. As I child, I was never quite sure if the clown and dolls were toys or people. Long's illustration makes them obviously toys.

Long's illustrations give the different locomotives distinct looks and personalities. The original illustrations for both previous editions of the book have locomotives that are virtually identical, except for being different colors. The passenger engine in Long's illustration is a sleek, streamlined design with an arrogant, sneering expression, while the freight engine is a massive, dark iron, whale-like machine that looms over and peers down at the tiny clown.

It's unfortunate that the review from the School Library Journal was chosen by Amazon for the Editorial Reviews, above. I'd like to correct some errors - the writer has her facts wrong about the history of this book.

What Burg believes to be the original edition of the book is, in fact, the 1954 edition with illustrations by George and Doris Hauman. Although Burg praises the '1930s' look of these illustrations with the green poka-dotted clown, they scream '1950s!'. While most people today are familiar with this version, I think the older illustrations are showing their age, and I believe children today will relate better to Long's paintings. Also, as I have stated above, I believe Long's illustrations help tell the story better.

The actual 1930s illustrations were colored line drawings by Lois Lenski, and few people today will have seen them. Interestingly, those illustrations show the story taking place in a stark, snow-covered winter landscape.

Burg claims Loren Long's paintings have a '1950s' look. Anyone familiar with painting styles of the 1930s will recognize the influence of painters like Grant Wood on Long's style. Long's illustrations are much truer to the 1930s than the 1954 illustrations are.

I am a friend of Loren Long's, and I know how hard he worked on these illustrations and how much this book meant to him. These paintings were a labor of love.
33 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
49 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on May 1, 2000
Format: Board bookVerified Purchase
This will teach me not to read the reviews carefully before purchase. This is a very abridged version of the classic story: the bright shiny engine and the big strong engine are nowhere to be found. If you're after the book you remember from your childhood, find another version. The illustrations are bright & fun, but there's just too much missing from the story.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2000
Format: Board book
This is one of the great children's stories of all time. I loved it as a child and read it over and over again, and my son has been demanding it as a bedtime story regularly since he was2-1/2 years old. The 1991 Platt & Munk (a division of Grosset & Dunlap) edition, beautifully illustrated by Cristina Ong, leaves out all the requests made to the busy trains. The story is now very brief (which is why I give it only 3 stars instead of the 5 the full-length version deserves)--I suppose because it is a board book--but the essentials are all there. It also changes the sex of the engines from male to female, so perhaps some parents would like to read this edition to their children as well as one of the others.
22 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book as a child and I still remember my mother reading it to me vividly to this day. She has since passed away, however, the underlying message of the book about having confidence in oneself stuck. I think this theme of "knowing you can do it" is a value message for children to learn.

I read through the story of the book and it had even more impact with the updated art. The images are original, powerful and really bring the story to life. I can see why they would appeal to children and the use of colors is amazing.

I've read a few reviewers comments that the book is sexist. I didn't notice that the "bad trains" were a certain gender and the "good trains" another when I read it. However, I'm wondering if this just may be a coincidence. I have a hard time believing the author of a classic like this with such a good underlying positive message would do something like this on purpose. Ditto... for the editors who are watching out for problems like this. While I could be wrong, I think Watty Piper deserves the benefit of the doubt and perhaps she will be open to making some editorial changes to correct an apparent sexist slant in future editions.

I also found the large format and prints in this book a value add. It is also printed on nice paper and lends itself to being used over and over. This format also makes it good for reading to small groups where the children will need to see the pictures from a distance.

The toys seemed to be almost alive to me. The artwork was succesful in giving them some kind of personality. They seem more than just stuffed animals and I think this quality will appeal and endear them to children.

The art is so captivating that it almost distracts me from the story. I have to admit I haven't read the classic version in a long time, but it seems to me there was more repetition of the core message in that version. If my memory is faulty, I think it would be an improvement to repeat the "I think I can.... I know I can...." theme more often.

Overall, I don't think you can go wrong purchasing this classic book. It's a great read and a visual delight.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on November 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The original version of this book was one of my all time favorites as a child, per my mom. I purchased this one as a gift for a special little guy I know. When I received it I thought that the new illustrations were absolutely fabulous, brilliant colorations! It was something I almost wanted to keep it was so beautiful! When this young fella opened presents, all of the adults ranging in age of 25-37 were enthralled with the book. In fact the little guy had to ask for his book back from us! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loved and cherished the original, would like a special book with a wonderful message (that's not too long for bedtime), or a beautiful book for a collection. I might even order it for myself one of these days it was that spectacular! Hope this helps you decide to purchase this book...
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2015
Format: Paperback
This book is a classic and always has been one of my favorites. Def a must have when it comes to buying books for kids.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2013
Format: Unknown BindingVerified Purchase
If you buy the currently printed Little Engine that Could and compare it to this one, you'll see that the text is different even though the publisher claims the currently published one is the "full, original version". The illustrations are also different is every other edition from the first. Since this is the widely accepted telling of a classic American morality tale, I felt it important that my daughter read it with the original prose and pictures. I want her to have a good background in classic storybooks as she learns to read. Elmo's great, but modern popular culture is best appreciated with some decent cultural context gleaned from knowing popular canon. I think every child should get the chance to enjoy "The Little Engine that Could" in its original form.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have to say that this is one of my three year old's favorite books, but the text seems a little clunky at times. I always change the line "...dolls with brown eyes and brown bobbed heads..." to read "brown bobbed hair" so that it is understandable. I also noticed in the copy we have that the text does not compliment the pictures that are on the page. The lines often run to the next page at awkward moments as if the printer only allowed a certain number of lines on a page and did not check for orphaned words. After many readings I memorized the book and could keep the flow, but that first reading was hard to get the complete story.

Overall, this book is loved by my boys, but as the reader, it has some idiosyncrasies.
11 commentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on December 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Santa brought this book to go with a train table for my 3-year old this Christmas. He made us stop to read it to him TWICE while we were opening presents. On the day after Christmas, he was chanting "I think I can...I thought I could..." all over the house. He just loves the illustrations because they show the differing personalities of the various trains so vividly.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
It was not a Little Golden Book as shown. (There was no golden stripe down the book spine).
The first few pages were missing in the book, and it cost twice as much as the purchase of a new one at the store, which I ended up having to do.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed

The Little Engine That Could mini
The Little Engine That Could mini by Watty Piper (Hardcover - August 30, 1990)
$4.99

The Little Engine That Could: Deluxe Edition
The Little Engine That Could: Deluxe Edition by Watty Piper (Hardcover - October 29, 2009)
$15.16
 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.