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Showing 1-10 of 304 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 436 reviews
When you have ten children, you learn to live life in thrifty ways - my mother was a frequent visitor to used book stores while we were growing up and, when I saw Mike Mulligan on Amazon's list of 100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime, it brought back memories of reading a battered copy of this book to my younger brothers (which always seemed to inspire them to gather their old Tonka trucks and head outside for some excavating of their own!) I'd mentioned to my dad (born the year before the Great Depression ended in 1939, the year this book was first published) that I'd just purchased the 75th anniversary edition of Mike Mulligan for my grandkids and - even though he was stricken with Alzheimer's years ago, it brought an instant smile of recognition... this was a book he remembered from his childhood as well!

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!
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on September 19, 2017
One of my favorite stories growing up. Now I get to share it with my son. He loves the bright colors, and he likes talking to the book when I read it to him. (He's definitely a stereotypical boy in that regard.)
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on September 20, 2017
Purchased for a friend. This was a childhood favorite. He was overjoyed.
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on September 17, 2017
One of my favorite books as a child. My youngest grandson loves it. It met all expectations
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on September 14, 2017
My favorite
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on September 15, 2017
Book I read as a kid still great
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on April 4, 2017
I remember this story from when I was a child. My 15 month old is still a little young to enjoy a book with as many words as this one has, but it's a very sweet story and she will grow into it.
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A used book bought from Kaylas media store.
The book came in almost new condition. I was expecting more signs of use but this one was great.

This is an old classic book from the late 1930's It stars Mike Mulligan and the real star of the show the steam shovel heroine.

I read this book eons ago and remembered it was one of my favorites.... so with a new grand daughter and the book having a female as the heroine I just had to get it.
I read it to her the other day. Of course she in just 5 months old so I think I got far more out of it.......
A great book......a little wordy at times but that's ok......just talk faster.....as long as you can get away with it.
The ending is what I love.
Mike and Mary Anne save the day and show them all that steam power is not dead......
The main thing that drew me to this book though was that she built the basement for the school and still was down there giving us all heat.
I grew up where it was oh so cold so I remember thinking that I wanted to go into the basement to see Mary Anne.
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on December 9, 2014
BEAUTIFUL BOOK!! I remember listening to Captain Kangaroo read this book on his tv show and the pictures showing on the screen. It still makes me smile. We purchased this book as a Christmas Gift for my grandson. He will enjoy it for years to come. My son was thrilled that we found it (really is it that hard to find anything you want on Amazon, I think not) and is ready to start reading. It's a lovely story with a sweet ending. A good old fashioned story book. I can't see how it could disappoint anyone.
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on September 1, 2015
I ordered Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel for my 15 month old who is fascinated with diggers. The story is so sweet and follows the life of a steam shovel, Mary Ann, and her operator Mike. When steam shovels are replaced with newly invented diesel engine shovels, etc, the pair has to find a new home. A great story about perseverance and re-purposing outdated machinery instead of junking it. There are a lot of words, so I would say this book is best for an older age group..maybe 4-5 and up. That being said, my little person does on occasion sit through this entire story.
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