Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel

by Virginia Lee Burton

Published by Houghton Mifflin 1967

Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne are very hard workers; however, as the age of steam ended and gasoline and diesel engines were sought after, Mike Mulligan could not find work for Mary Anne.  One day, he reads about a new town hall that is going to be built in Popperville, and he and Mary Anne rush over and offer to dig the cellar for the town hall in only one day.  Dig it, they do, until they realize that they have dug the cellar around them with no way out.  A clever boy posits that they could leave Mary Anne in the cellar and make her into a furnace for the hall, and Mike Mulligan could be the janitor.  Mike and Mary Anne agree to the plan, and Mary Anne is part of the town hall henceforth.

Great books for kids who love machinery.  Good option for discussing conflict as well, both as they attempt to dig and then after when they need to decide what to do once they are stuck inside the cellar.

Accessed: Augusta County Library

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