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Search tags: Virginia-Lee-Burton
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review 2017-06-18 00:41
Choo Choo by Virginia Lee Burton
Choo Choo - Virginia Lee Burton

Genre:  Trains / Adventure / Classic / Drama

Year Published: 1937

Year Read:  2017

Publisher:  Houghton Mifflin Company




I have read at least two books from Virginia Lee Burton when I was younger and they were “The Little House” and “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” and I had enjoyed both books immensely! So, I then picked up another book by Virginia Lee Burton called “Choo Choo” which was quite a unique read and is one that I would definitely recommend for children!

The story is about a beautiful little locomotive named Choo Choo who would pull trains from the city to the country and back again every day. She was always accompanied by three workers who were named Jim the Engineer, Oley the Fireman and Archibald the Conductor who would all come together to take care of Choo Choo. One day however, Choo Choo was getting tired of pulling trains in between the cities and the country and she decided to run away from the station and show everyone in town how beautiful she really is!

What sort of adventures will Choo Choo get herself into?

Read this book to find out!

Wow! I never would have thought that I would enjoy this book so much! Just like Virginia Lee Burton’s other works, this book has a classic and old fashioned feel as we get to see how trains look like during the 1930s. I also loved the fact that this story has a different twist to the usual children’s story about trains, as it details the story about a young train running away from its owners, which I rarely read about in previous books about trains. Virginia Lee Burton does a great job at making this book both cute and exciting at the same time as I loved the fact that Choo Choo’s owners really do care about what happened to Choo Choo when she goes missing as it brings in a heartwarming element to the story. I was also sitting on the edge of my seat as I wondered if Choo Choo was ever going to make it back home safely and I liked the way that Virginia Lee Burton detailed the dangers of running away from home as Choo Choo gets into all kinds of danger on her travels and it would help teach kids about the dangers of running away from home by themselves. Virginia Lee Burton’s artwork is quite unique in this book as most of the images are in black and white colorings, giving this book an old fashioned and bold feel and I also enjoyed seeing the images of Choo Choo herself as she is drawn as a cute looking locomotive, which strongly reminds me of the image from “The Little Engine that Could!”


The only real issue with this book is that there is one image in this book where Choo Choo ends up going through a scary looking forest that might frighten smaller children. The trees are drawn in a much eerier manner compared to the rest of the images and parents might want to go through the images in this scene first to see if their children can handle such scary imagery.

Overall, “Choo Choo” is a truly cute book that children who enjoy reading about trains will definitely get a kick out of! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the image of the scary forest might scare some smaller children.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog


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review 2017-04-06 22:06
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel 75th ... Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel 75th Anniversary - Virginia Lee Burton

This is a wonderful classic story by Virginia Lee Burton. The book is a level 4.5 according to Accelerated Reader. In the story, a steam shovel works great with his owner, but after a while the machine begins to run down and get old. Newer models replace the shovel, and he is taken to the dump. In the end, the shovel is saved by Mike. This is a great book for a reading center or to teach about acceptance. 

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review 2017-02-01 00:00
The Little House - A Caldecott Award Book
The Little House - A Caldecott Award Book - Virginia Lee Burton I just loved this book. The little house was sad to see things change around her, but it had a happy ending.
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review 2016-05-05 04:24
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel - Virginia Lee Burton
  Classic from before I was born. Mike and Mary Ann build roads and buildings. Now they are obsolete but Mike has a way of keeping Mary Ann from the scrap heap.

I remember watching Captain Kangaroo as he read this book. It was fun then. It is fun now. My brother loved Mary Ann and Mike.
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review 2014-03-21 08:03
Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel - Virginia Lee Burton
Genre: Children / Trucks / New Era

Year Published: 1939

Year Read:  2009

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Mike Mulligan
When I first heard about this book, I was wondering to myself what was so special about a book being about a man and his steam shovel.  Well, when I read this book I was amazed at how this book turned out!  “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” is a memorable children’s book by Virginia Lee Burton and it is about how a man named Mike Mulligan tries to prove to everyone that his steam shovel, Mary Anne, can dig up a huge cellar for the new town hall in one day.  “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” is a great book for children who love reading about steam shovels and learning about the power of friendship!

Wow!  This was such an amazing book!  Virginia Lee Burton has done an excellent job at both illustrating and writing this terrific book about the importance of true friendship.  Virginia Lee Burton’s writing is simple yet cute at the same time as she effectively tells Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne’s story.  What I really loved about this book was how close Mike Mulligan was to his steam shovel, Mary Anne.  I thought that it was really cute about how Mike Mulligan gave his steam shovel a beautiful name, since it truly shows how Mike treated his steam shovel like an actual friend rather than a regular machine and I also loved the way that Mike is always praising Mary Anne’s hard work as he truly appreciates Mary Anne’s hard work.  I loved how Virginia Lee Burton made Mike into such a caring and confident character, even after he was put out of the job because Mary Anne was too old to compete with the newer steam shovels since he stayed with Mary Anne throughout his career.  Virginia Lee Burton’s illustrations are just simply beautiful and colorful and I really loved the image of Mary Anne herself as she looks like an old, fashioned steam shovel and yet has a somewhat human expression as you see her smiling on every page.  Another image I loved was the image of Mike Mulligan himself as he looks so small on every page compared to Mary Anne and he wears blue overalls with a red shirt and he also looks really built for doing his job.  Another thing I loved about the illustrations were some images where Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne were shown to look like characters that came out of a superhero comic strip as there are some flashing colors around them to indicate that.

This is not really a big deal to me, but the only slight con of this book is that the story and the illustrations might seem a bit outdated for the current generation of children, since this book was made during the 1930s and smaller children might be confused about what steam shovels are and parents or grandparents who were born during the 1930s might be able to explain to their children what times were like during the 1930s involving steam shovels.

Overall, “Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel” is a truly heartwarming story about the true importance of friendship that will remain in many children’s hearts for many generations to come.  I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.
Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog
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