Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Read Aloud Thursday


Read Aloud Thursday is hosted at Hope is the Word. I forgot to add that last week!

Title: Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Author: Virginia Lee Burton
Published: 1939


If I would have told my son that this book was published the year after his grandma was born, he probably would have thought I was crazy.  After we read it, when I asked him what he liked the most about it, he started flipping through the book saying "this part, and this part, and this part"  so I think he enjoyed it. 

Mike has a steam shovel that he has named Mary Anne.  He has worked with her for years and dug canals and helped build passages through mountains and airports.  He has kept Mary Anne in really good condition.  With the passage of time though comes innovation and soon there are gasoline, electric and Diesel shovels and no one wants to use Mary Anne anymore.  They leave the city for the small town of Popperville, as they have heard they are building a new town hall.  Mike makes them an offer that he and Mary Anne can dig the cellar in one day, and if they don't, then the town won't have to pay them. 

Well, they don't think he can do it, so of course they take the bet.  A little boy stops to watch and he invites more and more people throughout the day (because the more people are watching, the faster and better Mike and Mary Anne work).  Now here comes my favorite part.  They get the cellar built and here is the steam shovel and Mike down in the cellar - there is a good picture of this in the book - and my son says "How are they going to get out?"  and I turn the page in the book and the little boy in the book says "How are they going to get out?"  I looked at my son and asked him if he had heard this story before.  He looked up with the childlike surprise and told me no.  So I told him he must be the little boy in the story!  (He liked that).

Well, rather than try to get Mary Anne out, they turn her into a furnace and Mike gets the job as janitor and they still get to spend every day together. 

The book has some cute illustrations, also by Virginia Lee Burton.  I especially like the sweet face on the steam shovel and some of her expressions! 


Challenges:  Excellence in Reading

6 comments:

Eddie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

Thanks for linking up. We read Amelia Bedelia this week. My daughter likes the part where Amelia dresses the chicken.

Sandra K321 said...

My sons liked this book when they were little, BUT the book they LOVED by the same author was Katy and the Big Snow. We read that over and over and over... It is about a snow plow named Katy that has to go all around the town digging everyone out.

Kirsten @ homeschool discoveries said...

Virginia Lee Burton is such a great children's author. My favorite of hers is Maybelle the Cable Car. I didn't discover that one until we went to the cable car museum in San Francisco on a vacation!

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

This is a favorite at our house, too. In fact, I just read the abridged board book version to my 6 year old and 20 month old yesterday! I agree that Katy and the Big Snow is also wonderful.

Thanks for linking up to RAT!

Peggy said...

Boy does that bring back memories! Captain Kangaroo use to read this on his show!

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