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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Paperback – October 12, 1977
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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
Kindergarten-Grade 3 - Author/illustrator Virginia Lee Burton's classic tale comes to life in this jubilant orchestral rendition. Composer and conductor Stephen Simon makes use of strings, brass, winds, and percussion in the telling of the tale, but no other instrument is used as effectively as the Irish bagpipes that present Mike's theme. Narrated by Yadu, this production faithfully follows the story of Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Ann, as they prove their worth in the face of new technology. The 18-minute story appears twice on the CD - at the beginning and then again following segments that provide background information on the story, the author, and the composer's various musical techniques. There's also a vocal performance by opera singer James Shaffran of Mike Mulligan's theme song, a jazzy, infectious tune that will have kids singing along. Burton's story still strikes a chord despite its 1939 copyright, and Simon's joyful orchestration is sure to win new fans. - Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I can't stand it, and the book isn't that great anyway..
Yes Henry B Swap is mentioned, but no mention of a challenge to dig the cellar in one day, or he won't get paid.
No sun high in the sky and being halfway done.
No Henry B Swap saying that since the steam shovel can't get out they don't get paid.
No ending where Henry B. Swap sits in the cellar and smiles in a way that's not mean at all.
If you want the great story, DON'T BUY THE BOARD BOOK!
Maestro Classics is the creation of music director Stephen Simon and executive director Bonnie Ward Simon who envisioned musical performances that would appeal to audiences of all ages.
The Schoolhouse Review Crew were given several titles to review from the Music Maestro Classics CD Collection.
- See more at: http://schoolhousereviewcrew.com/maestro-classics-review/
Maestro Classics ReviewMike Mulligan and More by Virginia Lee Burton was written, a good long while ago - as my four year old puts it, which makes it a treasured classic. <--- Our favorite type! The fact that it is found on so many book lists just goes to show how much merit the story has, and then to add classical music to the educational experience is just icing to the top. Hopefully introducing this story will encourage children to jump into the other delightful titles from Virginia Lee Burton, as each one is enchanting in my own opinion.
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.
I grabbed this one up already knowing thanks to the Mike Mulligan and More: A Virginia Lee Burton Treasury that I really like Virginia Lee Burton's writing and illustrations. The combination of gently showing old things turning into new as well as giving personality to the machines that help make our lives run is just great for everyone as well as my preschooler. She loves every story we're read from Virginia Lee Burton and I look forward to reading more and more. Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne worked hard and these are important lessons for all to learn.
The Mike Mulligan CD from Maestro Classics contains a flap with a labeled steam shovel illustration as well as a booklet full of things such as a dot-to-dot activity, Conductor/Composer information (Stephen Simon), biographies on the voice actors (like a play bill), a word scramble, lyrics to a Mike Mulligan song, musical score, a detailed page spread on uilleann piles for educational purposes, crossword puzzle, word search, and more! The disc itself has seven tracks with the narrated story put to music, about the author information, the Mike Mulligan song, and more fun and educational tracks and themes.20140509-113413.jpg
Personally my daughters love to each sit with their own copy of the story and listen along. Many nights this has been the CD of choice to lull them into dream land. I love that they are so invested in learning about the story and enchanting themselves with classical music woven in. However, my one caviot with this CD is that the narration tracks and musical score do not seem to be quite on the same equalization. The music is extremely loud in comparison to the voices and often startles. Which in turn does not make it the best naptime and bedtime CD to listen to. Otherwise, we do love it however. The Mike Mulligan CD comes in at just over 51 minutes of play time in 7 tracks.
As soon as you open this book, the old-fashioned illustrations take you back to what was a simpler time, but also an extremely stressful time - the end of the longest and most far-reaching economic downturn in our nation's history (at its lowest point, 13-15 million Americans were out of work, close to half of the banks had failed, a time when bread lines and soup kitchens were the norm, with foreclosures and repossessions leading to rising numbers of homeless as people lost their jobs - just as Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel named Mary Anne do, as steam shovels are quickly being replaced by power shovels. The deep hole Mike and Mary Anne find themselves in with no way out feels reflective of that period. It was a time when loyalty, trust, faith and ingenuity was about all you had to get by on, and the deep friendship between Mike and Mary Anne is a perfect example of that. 1939 was the year American industry shifted into high gear with WW II, when pulling together to support the troops was everything, including re-purposing of various items for new usages... just as Mary Anne becomes re-purposed as a furnace for a new town hall, for which Mike becomes the janitor - still together through it all. It was interesting to discover that Mary Anne's name was based on the Marion, Ohio's Marion Steam Shovel Company, re-named the Marion Power Shovel Company after the change from steam to diesel power within the industry had taken hold. (Sadly, after being sold, spun off, and then integrated into the product line of a long time rival, the Marion facility was closed.)
This 75th Anniversary edition is a beautiful book (with instructions on how to download a free audiobook on the first page)... some of the pages are pretty wordy, so I don't know that it would hold the attention of a 2 year old, but I think our 4-1/2 year old grandson will do fine with it - the words are very simple, and are displayed in interesting configurations (many of the pages have the lines of words in a slanted fashion, which sort of reminds me of a big load of words Mary Anne might lift!), and though the imprinted $17.99 price on the cover seems a bit hefty for a 44-page book, this is one of the true classics (which the National Education Association places among the "Teachers' Top 100 Books") - one we'll be happy to place into the hands of our grandchildren. My favorite thing about the story is the sense of dignity and respect with which Mike and Mary Anne are treated in the end, after all of their years of hard work. If only all American workers could look forward to the same treatment!