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The Little Engine that Could

Updated on May 21, 2015

The Little engine that Could

This is a classic story book illustrated with pictures that gives a positive message to small children.
This is a classic story book illustrated with pictures that gives a positive message to small children. | Source

The Little Engine that Could

Back in the 1950s, I had a few books that I treasured. I took excellent care not to damage them. Two were Christmas books, and the other was The Little Engine That Could. Imagine a book that endures for so long and is still a classic. It is such a simple book, easily read by those starting to read. Yet, there is beauty in simplicity.

The intro image is an Amazon image.

A Book with a Message

One rule when writing children’s literature is to not let the reader catch on that there is a lesson to be learned. But, the lesson of perseverance is so strong it cannot be missed by an adult. Subtle messaging to five year olds woks well here, and the train is something many children relate to positively. Using a train was a master decision, and makes the book still work today.

While a DVD is nice and entertaining, and does get the message across, it is the fact that the words can be seen and dwelt upon that makes a book so much more. Helping children to read is huge. As I recall, I memorized stories from my first books, then when I opened them again I cold read them. eventually, the words stuck.

The Little Engine that Could

The Little Engine that Could DVD

Other Books that Have Lasted

Not many other books have stood the test of time like The Little Engine that Could. Peter Rabbit is one. The nursery rhymes of the Brothers Grimm another. But, most books written so many years ago simply have gone away. Perhaps the settings are no longer relevant. Perhaps it is that children are more into video games, so only a few books will reach them. But, that just makes this a more unique book, a star in a small collection.

Other Books with Staying Power

The Dr. Seuss books have the potential to be the next books with such staying power, but need more time to pass before such a claim can be made. Then, are they going to carry each other? Maybe, just maybe, just a few will make it, like The Cat in the Hat. And, if it does, perhaps a lens will shout its fame in twenty years.


Reading books from the past is a great way to allow a parent, or grandparent, to share something that was important in a special way.

Train 1

Have you heard of "The Little Engine that Could?"

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Train 2

Have you ever owned a copy of the book?

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 3 years ago

      Books for children are very important.

    • profile image

      Veronel 3 years ago

      I bought the entrie collection of books for my kids, and also for my nephews who live in California. The kids' ages range from 4-10 yrs. old, and all of them enjoy the books. My kids find the books to be funny and fun to read. My husband and I appreciate the creative way that the books reinforce the Armenian language and culture to our kids. Great initiative by the author to capture in story-form what we as Armenian parents have experienced during our youth. As more and more generations of American-Armenians grow farther away from our foreign-born parents' customs and rituals, these books allow us to bring the concepts back and share the funny anecdotes with our children so that they can continue to exist in their repertoire of the Armenian culture.

    • Blackspaniel1 profile image

      Blackspaniel1 3 years ago

      I had a copy over sixty years ago. It has endured so much time.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      The Little Engine book is one of my all time favorites. It never gets old. It is new each time I read it..It is indeed a classic.

      Angels are on the way to you today ps

    • iwrite100 profile image

      Maribel Forayo 4 years ago from Philippines

      I'd consider reading it. Thanks for sharing.

    • DANCING COWGIRL profile image

      Dancing Cowgirl Design 4 years ago from Texas

      What a sweet little memory. Best wishes to you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      A great story that has stood the test of time.

    • exotickitten731 profile image

      Renee Jaco Whitfield 5 years ago from Bogalusa, Louisiana , United States of America

      I love this story! one of the best children's books I ever read as a Kid and I'm currently bidding on one to get a new one!

    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Love the story! ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have also treasured some of the books like the little engine and I read them often.

    • ryokomayuka profile image

      ryokomayuka 5 years ago from USA

      I have never really read it or been read to by that book but I know the story.

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 5 years ago

      When I was a children's librarian, the kids asked for this story over and over. And they always chugged along with the little engine. I adore it.

    • kislanyk profile image

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      Now that is a classic indeed, it brings back fond memories...