Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Little Engine That Could

The Little Engine That Could

Watty Piper
Illustrator:  Loren Long 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Penguin, 2005   ISBN: 978-0399244674

The little train is very happy for her cars are full of the kinds of things that will make children happy; her cars are full of toys of all kinds for children of all ages. She is also carrying the kinds of treats that children like. There are apples and ice cream cones, bottles of cold milk and candies.

Suddenly and quite unexpectedly the little train finds that she can go no further. The little train cannot help thinking about all the "good little boys and girls on the other side of the mountain" who will not get the goodies she carries in her cars if she does not get her wheels to turn again. Then all the toys see the Shiny New Engine coming along the tracks and they decide to ask the train if he will help them get the children their toys and their treats. But, alas, the snooty train refuses to help them and dashes away.

The toys ask other passing trains to help their little train but every single one of them refuses until the little blue engine arrives. This cheerful little locomotive is not very big, nor is she very strong, but she is kind and she is also determined to do what she can to help. "I think I can. I think I can" she says and soon she is pulling the cars full of toys and treats down the track towards the mountain.

Generations of children have had the story of this now famous little train read to them, and the story has lost none of its charm and its power to inspire in that time. Little girls and boys will be delighted to read about the little blue train who refused to give up and who puffed and chuffed her way up a mountain.