Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
by Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel are inseparable. They go everywhere together. She’s “a beautiful red steam shovel./ Her name was Marianne.” Your youngsters observe Mike and Mary Anne in a series of illustrations as they dig the great canals for the big boats to sail through, and cut a tunnel high in the mountains for the trains to go through. They pave highways for cars and level landing fields for planes. “[Mike] always said that she could dig as much in a day as a hundred men could dig in a week, but he had never been quite sure that it was true.” But now the gasoline- and electric-powered shovels and the new Diesel motor shovels were taking all the jobs, leaving Mike and Mary Anne far behind. Until one day, in the small town of Popperville, the villagers need a new town hall. To get the job, Mike promises that he and Mary Anne can do the job in a day, or the mayor won’t have to pay them. Will they complete the job in time? Any child who loves trucks and construction sites will be on the edge of the seat to find out!