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The Little Engine That Could (The Little Engine That Could)

4.14  ·  Rating Details  ·  79,634 Ratings  ·  893 Reviews
The story of a train filled with toys and gifts for little boys and girls that breaks down before reaching the children. After asking several passing trains for help over the hill, a little blue train agrees to help the stranded toys. Even though she is small, the blue train tries her best to bring the toys to the children on the other side of the hill.
Hardcover, Original Classic Edition, 48 pages
Published July 11th 2006 by Grosset & Dunlap (first published 1930)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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This is just a classic story for children, introducing themes of perseverance in the face of difficulty. " I think I can, I think I can " (sounding like a train chugging along) vs. "I cannot, I cannot." (as the train slows down.) A timeless piece.
Jun 19, 2013 Abmh83 rated it did not like it
My son loves this book. L-O-V-E-S it. The board book had been his go-to "read this to me 4 times in a row" book as a baby and now as a 19 month old toddler, he's discovered this edition and insists on it every night before bed.

And yes, it's a classic beloved by generations. But I'm still only giving it one star. If I have to read this damn thing multiple times a day, I damn well reserve the right to judge it with all my might.

Firstly, it's tedious. There's no need to list everything on the carg
Sep 22, 2008 Tony rated it it was amazing
...[this book]brought me to tears...THIS DESERVES A MEDAL!
Jul 18, 2007 Enoch rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who thinks they can't!!
My momma read me this book when i was but a babe... ever since i have been telling myself that no matter what life throws at me, i can overcome it, just like the little steam engine. From the time i was in diapers, a wee little lad, I have lived by the motto "I think I can, I think I can" and thus far I have overcome insurmountable hills and mountains in my life... just like the little engine. I encourage all to read this book, but especialy those that face great trials and tribulations in life. ...more
Mar 07, 2007 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Though the personificiation of an 19th century steam boiler might be classified as disturbing, this book clearly outlines mental ambition and perservearance. What's equaly facinating is how the book is ridden with antagonists: old trains, mean trains, tough trains... all telling the protagonist "choo-choo" the mountain "obstacle" is nearly impossible to overcome. The climax is a riveting edge-of-your-seat thrill ride which will leave you orgasmically shaking with tears and joy. Overall, a good r ...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
I never read this as a kid, of that I'm quite sure. I'd heard of it of course - it's been around for over 70 years, after all! - but now that I've read it, I know for sure I didn't read it or have it read to me as a child. If I had, I would probably have enjoyed it more as an adult, even if just for the nostalgia. That tends to be the way it works. It's not that I think it's terrible or anything, it just doesn't hold my interest or appeal - it's very much a story from the early 20th century (or ...more
Apr 18, 2016 Leona rated it it was amazing
One of my most treasured stories I read as a child.
John Yelverton
Oct 27, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing
One of the best books that a child can ever read, as it teaches them to always have a positive attitude and never, ever give up.
Jan 29, 2009 Craig added it
It was one of my favorite books as a child i could read it over and over again when i was a child
Denise Byers
Sep 08, 2011 Denise Byers rated it it was amazing
I loved this book!!! I write books to empower children overcoming various forms of adversity.

This book is a perfect example of the types of books I write and want to write!

It is inspirational and encouraging!


Still at my age, whenever I think "I can't", I remember this book and I say "Yes, I can!"

This book also inspired my eldest child, my daughter, Danielle. She was abused by a babysitter at 13 months old and acqu
Jessica Maynard
Dec 05, 2012 Jessica Maynard rated it really liked it
This is a classic inspirational book for children everywhere. The engine was carrying goods to little boys and girls and suddenly the engine stopped running. The engine tried to keep going but it couldn't. A different engine came along and they begged it to take the engine across the mountain. All the engines who came by said no expect for one. The little blue engine wasn't very big at all but he did everything possible to get the bigger engine over the mountain so the children could have food a ...more
Callie Reichenbach
Oct 23, 2012 Callie Reichenbach rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic
The Little Engine That Could is a classic. It has been done and re-redone but still children love it, and for good reason. It's about a train that is carrying toys and food for good boys and girls on the other side of the mountain, but the the train breaks down. The toys ask other trains that pass by if they will help pull their train over the mountain. Three trains pass by all too busy or denying to help. But then, a little blue engine pulls up and realizes that if she doesn't help, then the go ...more
Tasneem  Zafer
Jan 09, 2012 Tasneem Zafer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can" says the tiny blue engine when all the toys and dolls ask desperately for blue engine's help because their engine breaks down and the good boys and girls on the other side of the mountain won't have any toys to play with or good food to eat! And the other engines refuse to pull them cause they're either too strong, fancy and big to pull the likes of them or too old and dusty and think they just can't! Little blue engine stands out and hitches herself ...more
Ozan Yunus
May 04, 2012 Ozan Yunus rated it it was amazing
A great story and definite a keeper for my collection.It aims to deliever a message to help teach children and adults to overcome adversaries and believe in themselves, which i believe is a great message. Everyone gave up on the toys but not that little blue engine that could.

'I know I can, I know I can, I know I can'

'I knew I could, I knew I could, I knew I could...'

The little blue train never doubt himself, never gave up and achived his goals. The book would be ideal for children aged 2-6 and
May 10, 2016 Bam rated it it was amazing
A lovely old classic abridged for a children's board book--colorful drawings and great message!
Darcy Leech
Jan 09, 2016 Darcy Leech rated it it was amazing
A story of perseverance in cute children's images, this book is worth reading many, many times to your child because of all the literary allusions they will encounter later to this childhood lesson. Start the kid young with a book like this, then build on the ideas of working through the hard hills and working despite what others may say or think, and you will have a child with the life skills of resilience and perseverance! Fun read, but also edifying.
Cheyenne Cortesi
A train filled with toys and food for children on the other side of the mountain. The little train gets stuck at the bottom of a mountain. The toys see a shiny giant train coming and ask for help. But that train pompously refuses saying he’s done his work for the day. They ask another train for help. It refused. They ask a very old engine next. He literally could not help. A very little engine came next. She helped and with great effort, they reached the other side of the mountain. This book wa ...more
Jan 17, 2009 Marsha rated it it was amazing
I still have my childhood copy (dog-eared some 40+ years later)!
Jack Kirby and the X-man
I prefer my blue anthropomorphic shunting (US: switching) engine to be named Thomas!

A few things irritated me about this book:
1. Watty Piper never existed - it is simply a pseudonym for the publishing company Platt & Munk (now part of Penguin).
2. The trademark symbol for "The Little Engine that Could" prominently displayed on the front cover - and that they bothered to attempt to trademark "I Think I Can". This is an issue especially because of the strong evidence to suggest that the story i
Laura Gibbs
Sep 20, 2009 Laura Gibbs rated it really liked it
Everyone knows the story of the little engine that could! The red engine was full of toys and delicious food that he was trying to get to the other side of the mountain with all of the goodies for the boys and girls but it got stuck! All of a sudden, a shiny new engine came and the clown asked for help but the engine wouldn’t help. Next, a big engine came but he wouldn’t help either. Another engine still came after that but he was rusty and too tired to help. Finally, a bright blue engine came ...more
Rain Misoa
Oct 06, 2014 Rain Misoa rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 0-3 and anyone who needs inspiration to keep working hard!
Recommended to Rain by: My Mother! She bought the book for me to read to my younger brother!
Shelves: childrens-books
This is one of the children's books that I read for We Give Books, A Pearson Foundation Initiative to help children all around the world obtain books. It's an organization that gathers many campaigns in one spot on the web to encourage people to read many books for children. With every book you read, one gets donated to the campaign you signed up for. (There's quite a few campaigns available.) A very good friend of mine, Nicole Terazue, recommended this site to me since she knew I loved reading ...more
Jared Burton
Jun 19, 2010 Jared Burton rated it really liked it
Shelves: english-353
Piper, Watty. The Little Engine that Could. New York: The Platt & Munk Co., 1954.
Genre – Fiction
The little engine that could is a classic picture book about an engine that came along and helped a broken down train after other trains refused. The train was only a moving train that had never been over the mountain but when it thought of all the girls and boys who wouldn’t get their toys and food, it was able to help. The building up of the story was when the engine came to the mountain and st
Sep 26, 2011 Toneeshia rated it really liked it
The Little Engine that Could is a picture book that is intended for the primary age group. It was an ABA Choice Book Award Nominee. This picture book is about a little train carrying goods for the good little girls and boys over the mountain breaks down. The clown on the train got out and asked three different trains passing by to help tow the train, but would not until the little blue engine came along and decided to help tow the engine. I gave The Little Engine that Could four stars because i ...more
Ali Wilcox
Sep 19, 2012 Ali Wilcox rated it it was amazing
Everything about this book is wonderful. This is a story that a child will carry with them all throughout their life. My mom used to read this book to my brother and I when we were younger and it taught me all about perseverance. This book can teach any child that they can do anything that they set their mind to. Even though the little blue engine is very little and not meant to go up mountains, it still decides to help the train filled with toys to make it over the mountain. The distinct saying ...more
Jordon Worley
Oct 04, 2012 Jordon Worley rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a fabulous book for children! The Little Engine That Could is truly an inspiring story. A train carrying toys and food for good boys and girls on the other side of the mountain breaks down. The toys ask other trains that pass by if they will help pull their train over the mountain. After being denied by three different trains, a little blue engine pulls up to see what the problem is. The little blue engine realized that if she didn't help, then the good boys and girls would be withou ...more
Sep 03, 2011 Allison rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Toddlers and up
Recommended to Allison by: 1001 BYMRBYGU
Shelves: 1001-cbymrbygu
I must have read this story a thousand times as a child. It's one of my favorite children's books. Reading it again as an adult, I really appreciate how timeless the story is and how useful the message is that it contains.

I'd also never noticed before that the Little Engine is female. And, I also discovered that she is one of the few female engines in children's books about trains. While there is a lot of analysis of this story that could suggest that it is sexist that the male trains couldn't b
Jessica Minnoia
Feb 03, 2010 Jessica Minnoia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I rated this book a "5" because it is a classic book with such a great message to children. Both little boys and girls can enjoy this book and appreciate the message in it.
This story is about a train carrying goods for children but it breaks down and is unable to get the goods to the children. The train asks several trains that pass by for help, but they all decline for various reasons. Eventually a little engine helps although she thinks she is not strong enough to pull the train over the mo
Perhaps one of the most famous and beloved American children’s books, is the story of “The Little Engine That Could.” Filled with wonderful toys and dolls, fruits, creamy milk, fresh vegetables, and delicious after meal treats for good little girls and boys who lived on the other side of the mountain, the happy little train comes to a stop when her engine can go no further. The toys, lead by a clown, spring to life and try to get help from several masculine engines including a shiny passenger en ...more
Lauren Fogg
Mar 07, 2013 Lauren Fogg rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This is the tale of a little engine who helped her neighbor although she didn't think she would be strong enough. She chanted, "I think I can, I think I can", and because she believed in herself, she was able to pull the broken down train over the mountain to the little boys and girls. This story has become a classic because of the inspiration and self-confidence it contains within.

Piper's illustrations are bright, colorful, and fun; each depicting the different characteristics of the engines an
Shanna Gonzalez
Aug 13, 2009 Shanna Gonzalez rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-04-08
This classic book tells the story of a train whose engine stalls out before it can get over the last mountain to deliver toys and food to the good children on the other side of the mountain. The toys begin to flag down passing engines to take them the rest of the way. Several engines refuse, but a little blue engine agrees to try, even though she has never pulled such a heavy load. Through generous good will and tenacity she makes it over hill.

The well-written and original plot, and the pleasant
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Pseudonym for the Platt & Munk publishing house.
More about Watty Piper...

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“Little Engine That Could - "I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.” 11 likes
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