Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by…

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel (original 1939; edition 2006)

by Virginia Lee Burton

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,766482,118 (4.26)36
Title:Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Authors:Virginia Lee Burton
Info:Sandpiper (2006), Edition: PAP/COM, Paperback, 48 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:city life, machines, transportation

Work details

Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton (1939)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
My favorite book as a child - I'm looking forward to one day reading this to my own kids! ( )
  CKHarrigan | Jun 5, 2014 |
Mike Mulligan and his trusty Steam Shovel are renown throughout the city for their work on digging foundations for various building structures. Until one day...Steam Shovel digs too deep and is unable to get out. The whole town tried to help, but to no alas. Then Mike Mulligan helps Steam Shovel to be transformed into a steam heater instead to warm up the building rather than get buried alive under the foundation. Not only does Steam Shovel lose her purpose that day, but also finds one that she is just as content with. This is a great story to teach children to make the best out of the worst situations and having them share their experiences of when similar situations may have happened to them. ( )
  inovac13 | Mar 5, 2014 |
Story of a man and his steam shovel who believe they can still accomplish the work that the new machines can
  shaemakay | Dec 9, 2013 |
I attribute my love for the traditional and old-fashioned to this book. This is also the book that made me realize I was going to have to avoid deconstructing my childhood reading selections if I wanted to remain sane. Please, no one ask me about the implications of Irish-American labor force in rural and suburban America in this sweet little book. ( )
  50MinuteMermaid | Nov 14, 2013 |
This was tonight's bed-time story chosen by my youngest, who is four years old. We were given this book (along with others, none of which I had come across before, but which their kids had grown up with) by friends of ours now based outside Chicago, when I was expecting my eldest. It was a great present, and we still have all the books, albeit a bit battered.

Mike Mulligan has a steam shovel whom he loves, and has named Mary Ann. Together they have dug canals, levelled hills for highways and dug basements for skyscrapers across the country. Unfortunately, steam shovels are being superseded by electric and diesel shovels, so Mike and Mary Ann can't find work. Mike has always boasted that Mary Ann could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week ... but he's never been quite sure. He finds one last opportunity for Mary Ann and him to work, and gets the chance to test his boast.

This is a charming tale for young children, with some suspense as Mike and Mary Ann race the sun to finish their job, and we see if Mike can get out of the hole he's dug for himself. I like it for a bedtime story as there's a lot of repetition, which forms a soothing rhythm, but the illustrations are also good as discussion points and a glimpse into a bygone era. And I like the ending and the solution to the problem, as well as the way Henry B. Swap turns out.

Judging it (necessarily) as a children's book: 4.5 stars.

( )
  humouress | Nov 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
To Mike
First words
Mike Mulligan had a steam shovel, a beautiful red steam shovel. Her name was Mary Anne. Mike Mulligan was very proud of Mary Anne.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Scholastic Reading Level: 2.9.

Mike and Mary Anne are becoming obsolete; they agree to dig a cellar for the town hall in just one day. They are successful, but they forget to leave an exit route. Mary Anne is retrofitted to be the furnace for the town hall. Suspenseful and exciting, but long for a readaloud. Themes of accepting others for who they are and what they have to offer.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0395259398, Paperback)

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)

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:44 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Mike Mulligan proves that, although dated, his steam shovel is still useful.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 10 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
3 avail.
61 wanted
4 pay7 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.26)
1 3
2 8
3 50
3.5 6
4 90
4.5 15
5 154


Four editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 91,627,600 books! | Top bar: Always visible