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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Paperback – October 12, 1977
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From School Library Journal
Tania Colmant-Donabedian, Queens Borough Public Library, NY
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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!
The easy to remember and recite text, and the early 40s middle America drawings combine to create an evocative time piece.
I believe this is one book that will cut past the computer generated entertainment for today's youngsters, and prove to be a classic in generations to come.
If parents don't buy this for their kids, then I hope they'll buy it for themselves.
Great ending too!
This book is a great gift to give to any child who is enthralled with heavy machinery, but there's more to it than that. At the time the story is written (1939) Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne, his steam shovel, are becoming outdated. They used to be busy in the big city, making basements for big buildings. But as always happens, something better - faster, more efficient gas, electric and Diesel shovels - is replacing them.
Mike Mulligan knows they still have value. He's always told people that Mary Anne could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week, though he's never been quite sure this is true.
To find work, he ventures into the country to the town of Popperville, where a new Town Hall is being built. Mike promises to build the cellar in just one day ("What!" said Henry B. Swap. "Dig a cellar in just one day! It would take a hundred men at least a week to dig the cellar for our new town hall." ) Henry and the townpeople are swayed when Mike promises that "If we can't do it, you won't have to pay."
The citizens of Bangerville and Bopperville, Kipperville and Kopperville plus all the people from Popperville come out to watch Mike and Mary Anne work hard under the hot sun. They finish the job as the sun sets, just in the nick of time.
One small boy has been watching them, and he asks a really good question - "How are they going to get out?Read more ›
I'm not overly crazy about this book. As one reviewer said, the detail is occasionally tedious for parents, but my kids love it and are riveted as the sun rises in the sky. That makes the book a winner for us. Not to mention that I like the message of not giving up on something/ someone just because something newer comes along. And my daughter loves it just as much as my son.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pretty disappointed with the colors. On my monitor they seemed more vibrant and the tan appeared more white. They're more muted and it's very tan. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kddj
Terrible plot and language omissions in the board book edition make this an enormous disappointment. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Julia M.
This was one of my favorite books as a child - bought it for my Husband - who reminds me of Mike.Published 2 months ago by Donna
This book was one of my favorites as a child and now I love reading it to my son. Mike and Maryanne really show that if you value your things and take care of them they last longer... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Mrs. Brandon