Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

Written by Virginia Lee Burton

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

A welcome reissue of this American classic, its vigorous crayon illustrations have contemporary appeal as well as delicious period charm. Mike Mulligan and his steam shovel Mary Anne have worked together digging some of the finest roads, canals and railway tracks in the country. Then, one dreaded day, gasoline diggers replace the old steam ones. Sadly, Mike and Mary Anne go out to the country rather than be scrapped and Mike finds one last wonderful project for his beloved steam shovel.

June 2011 Guest Editor Michael Morpurgo says this is: "A picture book I adored, and maybe the first book I ever read for myself. It helped that the hero and I shared the same name. Wonderfully illustrated, it had the most satisfactory of all endings."


Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton

Mike Mulligan has a beautiful red steam shovel named Mary Anne. Mike Mulligan digs great canals, railways and highways. He digs the foundations of skyscrapers and the landing fields for aeroplanes. But when the gasoline, diesel and electric shovels arrive, it looks like Mary would be sold for junk, unless Mike can think of a really special job...


"This is fun both in its text and gay crayon drawings. Mike Mulligan remains faithful to his steam shovel, against the threat of threat of the new gas and Diesel-engine contraptions and digs his way to a surprising and happy ending." The New Yorker

About the Author

Virginia Lee Burton
Virginia Lee Burton was the talented author and illustrator of some of the most enduring books ever written for children. The winner of the 1942 Caldecott Medal for The Little House, Burton's books include heroes and happy endings, lively illustrations, and a dash of nostalgia. She lived with her two sons, Aristides and Michael, and her husband George Demetrios, the sculptor, in a section of Gloucester, Massachusetts, called Folly Cove. Here she taught a class in design and from it emerged the Folly Cove designers, a group of internationally known professional artisans.

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Virginia Lee Burton
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Frances Lincoln Publishers

Publication date

1st November 2005




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