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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Hardcover – Import, 1967
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Classic children's book-copyright 1939 Virginia Lee Demetrios - copyright renewed 1967-by heirs- library of Congress catalog card number 39 - 30335 ISBN reinforced edition 0395 - 169615 - --First published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel - delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boat travel --cut mountain passes for trains-hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers -- the very symbol of industrial America.Progress come new machines-soon the 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-he two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap--Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, Mary Ann, lose their jobs to the gasoline, electric & diesel motor shovels, they go to a country town finding new job leads to another.. What happens next in the small town of Popperville is a testament to their friendship& old-fashioned hard work and ingenuity- -original copyright 1939 -heavy reinforced binding-heavy gray school type covers -sewn spine -Pub -Houghton Mifflin, 1967- Length -48 pages- printed Singapore- - children's -childhood favorites -
Top customer reviews
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!