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The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper

The Little Engine That Could (1930)

by Watty Piper

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The little Engine that Could is a story about a little blue engine that takes on a train that none of the other big engines thought they could handle. The train is stranded and needs to be pulled over miles of rough terrain. None of the other engines take on the train. The little blue engine decides it can, and takes the train over rough terrain, all the while chanting the mantra, I think I can, I think I can, in the end the little blue engine does just that and completes the delivery.

My personal reaction.
I think this story is an important one for kids as it shows that big things can come in little packages. That no matter your size, with a bit of try, you can accomplish big things.

Classroom extension ideas.
This would be a very good book to start a positive discussion about trying our best and never giving up. Big things can happen to those who give their all and never give up no matter their size. ( )
  Soonerfan1999 | Sep 5, 2015 |
When all odds are against Thomas the engine, he is still very determined. This an excellent representation of how determination can take you a long way. Thomas the engine is not able to chug along with the other engines. He perseveres and never gives up his hope. I would read this book to a group if 3-5 year olds because I feel as though they would be able to understand how hard it is for them to do something they really want to do. By the end of this picture book, maybe even by the middle the class will be cheering. Yes you can yes you can. ( )
  mbabst | May 4, 2015 |
Summary: This story is about an engine that has to go up a very big hill and assist a large train. All of the other bigger trains refused the task, and the little train takes on the task. This is where the iconic phrase, "I think I can" is from.

Personal connection: This book was always inspiring to read and is useful to refer to in everyday situations.

Class use: Have students think of a time when they could have said, "I think I can" or think of their own mantra. ( )
  allisonpollack | Apr 30, 2015 |
This timeless classic is an inspirational tale for children of all ages everywhere. "I think I can, I think I can" are the inspirational words that we associate with this book. The illustrations do a great job of not only telling but also enhancing the story. ( )
  crunchymunchkin | Apr 22, 2015 |
The big idea of this story is that persistence, maintaining a positive attitude, and hard work can help one achieve their goals. I like this book for two reasons. To start, the illustrator does a wonderful job capturing the mood of the story as it progresses. At one point, the toys are standing on the tracks waiting to flag down a train. Having already been rejected by one engine, a clown, determined but unsure, holds a flag high in the air, while two giraffes lay their heads across an elephant’s back, the latter three obviously dejected. I also like how the theme shows desirable human traits in the characters. The toys are obviously distraught about their inability to get to the children on the other side of the mountain. They persist, however, and finally find a small blue engine that is willing to try. The little blue engine, in turn, relies on a positive attitude, repeating, “I think I can. I think I can,” working hard to get the train full of goodies and toys over the mountain. ( )
  jmille113 | Apr 21, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (19 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Watty Piperprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hauman, DorisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hauman, GeorgeIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lenski, LoisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moseley, KeithIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sanderson, RuthIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walz, RichardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
Chug, chug, chug. Puff, puff, puff. Ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong. The little train rumbled over the tracks.
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This is the complete version of the children's classic story and should not be combined with "Easy-to-read", boardbook, or other adaptations.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0448405202, Hardcover)

The unknowing progenitor of a whole generation of self-help books, Wally Piper's The Little Engine That Could is one of the greatest tales of motivation and the power of positive thinking ever told. In this well-loved classic, a little train carrying oodles of toys to all of the good boys and girls is confronted with a towering, seemingly impassable mountain. As nicely as they ask, the toys cannot convince the Shiny New Engine or the Big Strong Engine--far too impressed with themselves--to say anything but "I can not. I can not." It is left up to the Little Blue Engine to overcome insurmountable odds and pull the train to the other side. The Little Engine That Could is an entertaining and inspirational favorite, and the Little Blue Engine's rallying mantra "I think I can--I think I can" will resonate for a lifetime in the head of every child who hears it. (Ages 4 to 8))

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:13 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

When the other engines refuse, the Little Blue Engine tries to pull a stranded train full of dolls, toys, and good food over the mountain.

» see all 12 descriptions

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Penguin Australia

2 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0448405202, 0399244670

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