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The Little Engine That Could

(The Little Engine That Could)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  100,165 ratings  ·  1,408 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 Platt & Munk (first published 1930)
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Cheryl Actually, you can read this and many other books from It's a lending library of digitized books. Perfectly legal and lovely. Of cours…moreActually, you can read this and many other books from It's a lending library of digitized books. Perfectly legal and lovely. Of course, you can go to your irl library if you want to see the new illustrations by Loren Long, too.(less)

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Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  100,165 ratings  ·  1,408 reviews

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Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I was seven, my Mom used to read to us from this little book.

It was one of many books scattered atop our bright red plastic-‘n-steel tabletop, and she was cataloguing them for her new Public Library!

It was a bright red-letter year for us kids, too, that year - a real Book Bonanza.

And THIS was the way she encouraged stick-to-it-iveness in us lazy, dozy kids - with books like this: ‘I THINK I can! I THINK I can!’

Just like the relentless chugging of a pint-sized locomotive!

Well, I KNEW about
Jun 19, 2013 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
Spencer Orey
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
Still good! With a surprisingly non-creepy clown (okay just a little scary at first). Slightly dated in language but not bad. And a good heartfelt message and story.
Michael Finocchiaro
Mar 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of my alltime favorite books as a kid. I don't even have to tell you how many times in my life that "I think I can, I think I can" became "I know I can, I know I can" and this was of immense help to overcome challenges. Absolutely must-read to kids and grandkids!
Jon Nakapalau
Found this book in a second hand store. I have heard the term so often...decided to buy it. Great lesson for children and adults alike.
Nov 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Celebrity Death Match Special: The Little Engine That Could versus Neural Networks and Deep Learning

"Oh, please help me!" begged the family filter. "I'm being trained, you see, but I'm stuck in this local minimum. If I can't get out by tomorrow morning, I'll be put into production anyway and all the boys and girls will be exposed to potentially unsuitable content! Yes, Microsoft's quality control really is that slipshod!"

"Doesn't sound too serious," mused the Naive Bayesian Classifier. "A bit of
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.
Jessica Minnoia
Feb 03, 2010 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
Mar 07, 2007 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

Now I have a bit of a confession to make: I actually was introduced to this classic children’s story through an animated special that premiered on TV way back in the early 1990s and I have only just recently decided to pick up the book that the animated special was based off of. “The Little Engine that Could” by Watty Piper along with artwork by George and Doris Hauman is truly a cute classic that children will read for years to come!

The story starts off with a little train carrying good things
Jul 17, 2007 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
Sep 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
...[this book]brought me to tears...THIS DESERVES A MEDAL!
Oct 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A favourite of my children's.
Lovely illustrations and a lovely story.
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
Denise Byers
Sep 08, 2011 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
Lisa Vegan
May 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: young children & everyone
This is one of the first books I remember having read to me. It was my favorite book by the time I was 4. For years I gave it as a gift to every new baby and every young child who didn’t yet have it. A well deserved classic.
Jan 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I still to this day say to myself " I think I can, I think I can". Kind of nerdy but this book had a lasting impression.
Jan 29, 2009 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
Jun 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrensbooks
One of my favorites when I was a little girl.
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of course I've read this many times. For one thing, it's a staple for the first week of many kindergartens. But I'd like to see the new illustrations by Loren Long.

Otoh, I see by the preview that the toys are still the same ancient ones that I dismissed as irrelevant, twee, and old-fashioned even when I was a little girl in the 60s. Too bad.
Oh, one of my libraries has the ebook of the newer edition. So I just read it. I don't know if the text is a little different than what I remembered (a
Feb 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Train Lovers / Readers Looking for Children's Stories About Perseverance
Shelves: picture-books, trains
Originally published in 1930, and apparently based upon earlier poems and stories - the first version appears to have been part of a sermon that was published in The New York Tribune in 1906, whereas the first actual appearance of a story entitled The Little Engine that Could was in Olive Beaupré Miller's multi-volume My Book House anthology, published in 1920 - this picture-book is one of those ubiquitous classics that I somehow seem to have bypassed, in my own childhood reading. Although intim ...more
Callie Reichenbach
Oct 23, 2012 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 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 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
Darcy Leech
Sep 26, 2015 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.
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
My Mom read this book to me as a child. And she often quoted parts of us at times in my life when I wanted to give up. I passed it on to my children and now will do so to my grandchildren.

This classic is wonderful with a message that applies not just to children but to adults as well. Easily one of my favorite children's books of all time.
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: baby-h-books
Stirring and inspirational!! There are multiple characters and Mom read them in different voices and I thought it was just a LAUGH RIOT! I plan to apply the lesson of the Little Engine to my ongoing effort to master "tummy time." -M
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 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.
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 is si
Mar 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
Justin Thompson
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Pseudonym for the Platt & Munk publishing house. ...more

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