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The Little Engine that Could    by Watty Piper, George Hauman & Doris Hauman order for
Little Engine that Could
by Watty Piper
Order:  USA  Can
Grosset & Dunlap (1978)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Little Engine That Could is a kids' classic, that has been published in many different versions over the years. I just counted over twenty at Amazon, with board and vinyl editions; ABC, counting and coloring versions; 'easy to read' and 'first words'; a Spanish edition, La Pequena Locomotora Que Si Pudo; and I have a miniature copy and a rather tattered pop-up version at home.

This book deserves its popularity as its message serves us well all our lives - that we can often overcome obstacles which initially seem insurmountable by following the Little Engine's approach of 'I think I can', and simply trying. In the book, the 'happy little train' is doing her best to deliver toys and food to the 'little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain' when she breaks down. The toys help; the clown flags down first a 'shiny new engine' and a 'great big strong engine' (helping is beneath them both), then a 'rusty old engine' who is just too tired to pull the load.

They have all given up, when along comes a very little, blue engine, who gives it a go, repeating the mantra 'I think I can. I think I can.' It doesn't hurt that most small children are fascinated by trains, and that you can almost hear the wheels chugging with the little blue engine's efforts and final triumphant words ... 'I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.'

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