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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Book & CD
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Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel Book & CD

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  42,011 Ratings  ·  495 Reviews
Since it was first published in 1939, Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel has delighted generations of children. Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, have a very important job. They dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for big city skyscrapers the very symbol of modern industrial America. But with progre ...more
Paperback, 48 pages
Published October 18th 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published September 9th 1938)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Diane
May 10, 2016 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
One of the wonderful things about working in a library is that you never know when you're going to see some old friends. Yesterday I found them in the children's section. Every shelf had books that I had loved when I was a kid! It made me smile to see them again.

But I paused when I found "Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel." This is a classic children's book that was originally published in 1939. I think I first read it during a visit to my grandparents' house, and it brought up some bittersweet
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Vicki
Mar 31, 2016 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, favorites
Mike Mulligan has been my most favorite book ever since I was in grade school. There was no other book that thrilled me like this one. I loved the illustrations, I can still see that last picture and it still warms my heart. Everyone should read this. My sister and I discussed this book and the fond memories of it on our birthday cruise.

I guess the cool nights reminded us of the Steam Shovel.
Ronyell
Steam Shovel

When I first heard about this book, I was wondering to myself what was so special about a book being about a man and his steam shovel. Well, when I read this book I was amazed at how this book turned out! “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” is a memorable children’s book by Virginia Lee Burton and it is about how a man named Mike Mulligan tries to prove to everyone that his steam shovel, Mary Anne, can dig up a huge cellar for the new town hall in one day. “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” i
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Cannon
May 22, 2015 Cannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Dopest book ever. Better than 50 shades or potter. Will read every day. 10/10
Peter Derk
I just read this one for the very first time today at the request/brute forcing of a co-worker.

So Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel, which has eyelashes TO DIE FOR, dig a big hole, but they get so whipped up in digging the hole that the steam shovel is stuck inside. They come up with a solution of sorts. I won't spoil it here, but let me just say that although it's clever, it's poor practice to rely on cleverness to alleviate the problems of poor planning.

Mike Mulligan is a classic children's
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Annie
Oct 24, 2012 Annie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Yes, its true -- I dreaded the nights (night after night after night) when one of my sons would insist we read this book! Why? Because it's long, and detailed -- good for the child, terrible for a weary parent. My boys memorized the story, and if I ever tried to skip a page, I was found out and the missing page was revisited.

This book is a great gift to give to any child who is enthralled with heavy machinery, but there's more to it than that. At the time the story is written (1939) Mike Mulliga
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Maryanne
Childhood favorite, I remember hearing this on the Captain Kangaroo show and loving it ever since, not only because the steam shovel's name is Mary Anne (spelled the same way as my name.)
John Yelverton
Oct 27, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books when I was growing up, and it was also one of the saddest stories I read growing up too.
Kale Mcnaney
I remember making my mom read this to me every night before going to bed. A Classic!
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This was given to Hugh when he was born, a gift from friends of my husband's parents (I only know/remember this because they inscribed the book, something I wish more people would do when they give books as gifts!), and up until that moment I had completely forgotten all about this story. It came back to me quickly when I saw the distinctive illustrations and read the story again after all these years. I read it quite a lot as a kid, I loved it so. It's a sad story, yet positive too.

First publis
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Mister Jones
Mar 23, 2008 Mister Jones rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults, children, artists, construction workers, doctors, teachers, well hell anybody
Recommended to Mister Jones by: My parents, of course
A children's book that still kicks major ass well into adulthood!
Gervy
Sep 24, 2016 Gervy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost-5-year-old son found this completely fascinating.
Evan
The children's books that were written in the 1930's and 1940s were the ones we grew up with in the '60s and '70s. This is one of those.

Actually, I'm not entirely sure this was one I read as a kid. I just picked up a dollar clearance copy at Half Price Books in very nice condition with the page illustrations still in rich vivid color and good sharp edges and clean pages. The title page has the author name next to the 1939 copyright, but it also says Weekly Reader edition, so I'm not sure how clo
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Carrie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Julia Brumfield
What would happen if you took John Henry the combined it with The Ox-Cart Man and The Little Engine That Could? Why this beautiful book!

"Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel" follows the story of a man who doesn't have enough faith and of course an old steam shovel. As they face the new and technological changes that have confronted them, Mike finds that his doubt grows and that there seems to be no room for their services anymore until a small town needs their help.

This is a story with many gr
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Philip
Dec 29, 2011 Philip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This was one of my favorites as a kid. I'm not sure if that's because I liked it so much, or because this is a book my dad read to me a lot.

I think this must have been one of my dad's favorite books as a kid. It looks like the copy right is 1939. My dad was born in '41. Don't tell anyone.

Also, he built us a steam shovel. Well, it was made of wood, and didn't use steam... But, it was really cool.

Either way, I still liked this book a lot. Enough to push it on my two daughters. : ) I think they lik
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Mitchell
This was an okay book. It was not one I grew up on or raised my kids with. I like that it is a story about progress and invention that also show there are winners and losers. But even though it came out allright-ish in the end, I didn't appreciate the ending. Art was okay, writing could have been a little better.
Ana Urban
Mar 15, 2015 Ana Urban rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This delightful book tells of the adventures of Mike Mulligan and his trusty steam shovel Mary Anne as the work to build a new town hall. Has themes of cooperation, friendship, and industrial revolution. The illustrations are beautifully done.
Dolly
Jan 16, 2009 Dolly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, 2009
This was an interesting story with an odd, but touching ending. Our girls enjoyed that the steam shovel has "eyes," and seems to be alive, but didn't understand why they'd build the town hall around her. Cute story overall.
Rehema Payne
Jun 18, 2013 Rehema Payne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: friends, professions
This is another book that would be good for a professional day. It illustrates what jobs a steam shovel does. It shows that steam shovels are a part of other tools that complete a job. It can help children learn to play together or as a team.
Heather
This is a great story of finding your place in the world. My kids loved the pictures and cheered right along with all the townspeople.

We've read this book several times. It's one we'll read again I'm sure.
Sheila
Apr 30, 2016 Sheila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Classic from before I was born. Mike and Mary Ann build roads and buildings. Now they are obsolete but Mike has a way of keeping Mary Ann from the scrap heap.

I remember watching Captain Kangaroo as he read this book. It was fun then. It is fun now. My brother loved Mary Ann and Mike.
Susie
Apr 30, 2013 Susie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My students love it just as much as Hank did when he was a little boy. In fact one of my volunteers said that I can read aloud as we'll as Captain Kangaroo! How sweet is that?
Bruce
Jun 20, 2013 Bruce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite books of all time!
Dexter
Jan 01, 2016 Dexter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, children-s
Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne, the bestest diggers in all the land.
Inspired Kathy
Aug 28, 2008 Inspired Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another book from my childhood that I read to my own kids.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all)
Growing up in the Midwest in the 1960s, this book got a lot of attention at schools and libraries. It was used as a read-aloud by teachers who wanted to show us that hard work gets you what you want, and of course Mike had to go to smalltown USA to find a good home for himself and his shovel. Burton's books also get a passing reference in Beezus and Ramona; not by title, but if you've read them you recognise the reference.

Re-reading it today, I still love the illustrations and the way the text i
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Kelly
Jan 10, 2017 Kelly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
The personification of Mike's steam shovel, named Mary Anne, makes this story heartfelt. I enjoyed the loyalty Mike feels towards Mary Anne- he refuses to get rid of her even though she is an outdated model. Mike and Mary Anne also find new life and purpose at the end of the story, and that made me smile. Children interested in mechanical things like trains and construction vehicles are sure to love this book.
Riah
Dec 14, 2016 Riah rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
A timeless classic. This story has a lot to offer. An example of true children's writing. This story has excellent narrative, lessons learned, character and integrity development, excellent vocabulary, and great pacing.

It's a bit long for the very young, but managed to keep my 2 year old's interest with "action reading".
Ashlea
Nov 20, 2016 Ashlea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very informational book about a man and his steam shovel. This book shows that with team work and problem solving anything can be done, you just have to believe in people. Although this book is fictional, it is very realistic. This book allows for many different discussions with students during and post reading. I would definitely recommend this book to have in a classroom.
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Virginia Lee Burton was an American illustrator and children's book author. Burton produced seven self-illustrated children's books. She married Boston Museum school sculptor, George Demetrios, with whom she had two sons and lived in Folly Cove, Gloucester. She died at 59.

More about Virginia Lee Burton...

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