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The Little Engine that Could

Last updated Friday, April 3, 2020

Author: Watty Piper
Illustrator: Loren Long
Date of Publication: 2005
ISBN: 0399244670
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Jul. 2009

Synopsis: From Amazon.com: Everyone loves The Little Engine That Could, that classic tale of the determined little engine that, despite its size, triumphantly pulls a train full of toys to the waiting children on the other side of a mountain. Now the great Loren Long (Mr. Peabodys Apples) has brilliantly re-illustrated this classic story, bringing it exuberantly to life for todays child. Get on board for the publishing event of the year.

Note to readers:
•  Try to read the note to readers published on the first page of the book. It gives helpful hints on how to read the book in a stimulating way.
•  Hear and see this book read aloud by Dolly Parton on YouTube

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Do you like trains?
•  Have you ever ridden on a train?
•  Do you have a toy train?
•  Has anyone read this story before?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What kinds of toys were on the train? (show them the big picture of all the toys on page 2-3 to help them remember). Which toys were your favorite?
•  Why did the bigger trains not help?
•  Are you like the blue train? Do you try to help, even when it isn't easy?
•  Do you think it's important to help people?
•  Have you ever done something you first thought was impossible?

Craft ideas:
•  Take the paper train that is provided. Have the children draw their favorite toys on the train. If time permits, have them think about positive characteristics they want their train to have (kind, loving, giving, smart, funny etc.). You can help them write these on the other side of their train.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!