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[The authors] found that 60 percent of the kindergartners in neighborhoods where children did poorly in school did not... More

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Author: Watty Piper

Illustrator: George & Doris Hauman

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group, 1978

Material: paperback

Summary: When all the other engines wouldn’t help, Little Blue Engine gives it her best try, and succeeds in rescuing the train. The kindness and determination of the Little Blue Engine have been with us since 1930.

Type of Reading: anytime reading, family reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 8; read yourself: 5 to 9

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Age of Child: Read to children ages 3 and 6 years old.

Young Reader Reaction: Both of our children seem to enjoy the story.

Adult Reader Reaction: You hope like heck the message of trying to help others despite personal sacrifice gets through.

Pros: The repetitious elements to the story work well with little ears. A happy ending is always a good thing.

Cons: We read the anniversary re-issue edition, so the artwork seems quaint, and modern parents may quail at the idea that jack-knives are described as toys.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow, first.


Educational Themes: The goals for this book are to inspire perseverance, and remind kids that determination helping others is not only important, but rewarding.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book

Date(s) Reviewed: January 2005

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