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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Little Engine That Could Hardcover – September 27, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 582 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The unknowing progenitor of a whole generation of self-help books, Wally Piper's The Little Engine That Could is one of the greatest tales of motivation and the power of positive thinking ever told. In this well-loved classic, a little train carrying oodles of toys to all of the good boys and girls is confronted with a towering, seemingly impassable mountain. As nicely as they ask, the toys cannot convince the Shiny New Engine or the Big Strong Engine--far too impressed with themselves--to say anything but "I can not. I can not." It is left up to the Little Blue Engine to overcome insurmountable odds and pull the train to the other side. The Little Engine That Could is an entertaining and inspirational favorite, and the Little Blue Engine's rallying mantra "I think I can--I think I can" will resonate for a lifetime in the head of every child who hears it. (Ages 4 to 8)) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 2–This classic tale has been re-released with updated illustrations and a larger format. The text remains the same. The art, done with acrylics, is stylized and still retains a bit of an old-fashioned flavor. Nevertheless, the '30s look is definitely gone. In its place, readers will find artwork suggestive of a retro '50s look. As with the original, the clown takes center stage. His outfit, however, has changed from green polka dots to red pants, yellow shirt, and a colorful stocking cap. The text, with its, I think I can, I think I can refrain, is a timeless piece of children's literature and so familiar that it needs no elaboration. It's hard to improve upon a classic, and one advantage that the traditional edition has over this one is that the quaint and sentimental text pairs nicely with the antique artwork. The modern illustrations undoubtedly work better with a group but they have a faux feel to them. As such they are a little out of sync with the prim and proper style of writing in the story about the good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain [who will be] without the wonderful toys to play with and the good food to eat…. Nevertheless, this is an acceptable purchase, especially for those libraries without a copy of the first edition or larger libraries wishing to collect all versions of classic tales.–Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Series: The Little Engine That Could
  • Hardcover: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Philomel Books (September 27, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399244670
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399244674
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 12.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (582 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
My dad was dying and I bought several books to take to him at the hospital. This was one of them. When I flew down to see him, the word was that he still had hope. Within thirty minutes of my arrival, we found it not to be true. I still read him this book, just as he used to read it to me. It was a joke for us during his last days. Even when he had break through pain and I wasn't allowed to give him more medicine, we'd read this and he'd squeeze my hand while he tried to get through just a little more time. Sometimes he told me the story to keep his mind focussed.

Before he died he told me to finish my degree. I told him it would be hard because I have a big family, so much going on-- and he smiled and said, "Let me tell you about a train that couldn't get over a mountain. It had great things on it, toys for the good boys and girls, milk for their dinners. It was hard to get this train loaded with good things over the mountain but there was one little engine. . ." Three months later I am in college and this little engine goes through my mind a lot. The story is one of my children's favorites and they don't know why I can't read it without crying!

This book appeals to everyone for different reasons, but the results are the same. An iron will allows us to overcome any obstacle!
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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.
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Format: Board book Verified 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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read this book as a child. As a result, I grew up with the realization that if I tried hard enough and kept at it long enough, almost anything was possible! I also came away from this book realizing that it was good to help others. I believe that it is the SINGULAR most important book that a child 1-5 can have read to them!

Having said that, over the years I have given this story to many children and adults. You DO NOT WANT TO GIVE A PAPERBACK OF THIS STORY!!! Because it is the kind of tale that DESERVES being in a child's life for a long, long time. It is the kind of story that DESERVES to be passed down from generation to generation.

This book is WORTHY of that distinction. And believe it or not, I can recall that even last year I had a difficult time finding a hardback edition of The Little Engine... that was in print.

I can honestly say that this is the NICEST edition of The Little Engine That Could that I have seen. It is surrounded by red foil paper on the edges and on the back! And the pictures are reproduced from the ORIGINAL deluxe editions and are just GORGEOUS.

Does this cost a little more than the paperback? Yes. But it is a book that hopefully your child will even pick up when he is a teenager or a young adult....just to remind himself that yes...he really CAN accomplish a formidable task.
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Format: Hardcover
Few books are so gratifying to read to children for the first time. A child does not even need to understand English to "get" it. On first meeting our four-year-old son, who had never heard a world of English until then, I put him on my knee and impersonated each engine character chugging through these pages.

He was scared and shy, but he loved the "characters," which I could only differentiate for him by sound, and he especially loved the famous repeating line "I think I can."

As my whispers rose to crescendo, he squealed in delight. Nowadays he reads much harder books before going to sleep at night. But he likes every now and then to come back to this one: He well remembers the first moments of bonding with me, and with this book.

--- Alyssa A. Lappen
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