THE LITTLE ENGINE THAT COULD

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February 2nd, 2007, 3:49 pm #1

:huh: does anyone know what is the moral of this story? Thank you.

P.S. The reason why I am asking is because I want to include this story in my 10th Toastmasters' speech.
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Joined: March 29th, 2003, 4:05 pm

February 2nd, 2007, 4:25 pm #2

Yes, the moral is about positive thinking. The only bed time story that I do remember is my Mom always reading this to me. :th:, Mom!
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February 2nd, 2007, 4:33 pm #3

:) Thanks. But what about when the Blue Engine came down the hill, and it stated I thought I could, I thought I could?
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Joined: March 29th, 2003, 4:05 pm

February 2nd, 2007, 4:43 pm #4

I think it was one and the same. I don't remember the color blue, but here is something interesting for you. :story:

Storybook trains that have helped kids stay on track
Tuesday, June 21, 2005

By Karen MacPherson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Two trains that are legends in the world of children's books celebrate their birthdays this year.

"The Little Engine That Could," which popularized the now-iconic phrase "I think I can," turns 75. And it's the 60th birthday of the series starring "Thomas the Tank Engine," known to millions of preschoolers as a "useful little engine."

Here's a closer look at how these train tales came to be:

Although "The Little Engine That Could" has near-universal recognition today, few people can name the book's author. And that's fine, because the "author" -- Watty Piper -- never existed.

Watty Piper is a pseudonym for a group of people at a publisher called Platt & Munk. In 1930, Platt & Munk listed Piper as the "editor" of "The Little Engine That Could." In fact, the story of the plucky little engine was first published in 1906 as "Thinking One Can."

But it was the 1930 version published by Platt & Munk that struck a chord with the American public. Featuring illustrations by Lois Lenski, the book tells the story of a small but courageous blue switch engine who agrees to pull a trainload of toys and food over a mountain to a group of waiting children after a larger engine breaks down.

The little engine takes up the challenge after two other larger engines have refused to help. At first, the little engine is reluctant, thinking that the task is beyond her. But, buoyed by a cheerful toy clown, the little engine agrees to give it a try and bolsters her confidence by repeating, "I think I can. I think I can."
wrote:Of course, she succeeds, and the story ends with the smiling little engine saying: "I thought I could. I thought I could. ..."
While it has been wildly popular over the years, "The Little Engine That Could" isn't great literature. Unlike the best children's books, which focus on telling a good story, it is constructed around a message to young readers.

Yet that message was embraced by families in the Great Depression, and the book went on to sell millions of copies.

In the 1970s, there was a brief storm by some feminists over the fact that the little engine was female and the larger engines were male. Yet School Library Journal, in the same year, labeled "The Little Engine That Could" as "pioneer feminist lore."

This year, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the 1930 edition, Universal Studios has planned a 12-stop "Little Engine That Could" rail tour this summer. Families can ride a facsimile of the famous train.

In addition, Universal will be marketing various types of "Little Engine" merchandise, including puzzles and games. "The theme of all of this is perseverance," said Beth Goss, a Universal spokeswoman.

In 1943, a British clergyman named Wilbert Vere Awdry spent days telling stories to his 3-year-old son, Christopher, who was sick with the measles. The stars of the stories were trains, whom the train-loving Awdry invested with human emotions and names.

There was Edward, who tries hard to be helpful to compensate for his small size; overly confident, boastful Gordon; and Henry, who is so worried about his beautiful paint that he hides in a tunnel and refuses to budge.

At the urging of his wife, Awdry wrote down the stories and sent them to a publisher. Two years later, in 1945, Awdry's first children's book, "The Three Railway Engines," was published.

Meanwhile, Christopher wanted more stories, this time featuring his favorite engine, Thomas. So his father published four stories as "Thomas the Tank Engine" in 1946, introducing the spunky blue engine who learns to boss the insolent freight cars and shows he is "really useful" when he has to fill in for another engine.

The books were a hit with the public, and Awdry went on to write other railway tales, many of them featuring Thomas and set on the fictional island of Sodor. Like "The Little Engine That Could," Awdry's stories are centered around a moral, such as helping others.

In 1984, the books found a new audience when the BBC created a TV show from them. Five years later, PBS began broadcasting them, sparking a U.S. fascination with Thomas and friends. After a hiatus, "Thomas" is now back on PBS as part of a HIT Entertainment effort, which has created a new show.

To celebrate the 60th anniversary, HIT and Random House are sponsoring a 40-city tour, "Day out With Thomas." HIT also is marketing a number of new "Thomas" items, including limited-edition anniversary trains, while Random House is publishing the "Thomas the Tank Engine Complete Story Collection," which includes all 26 original tales.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Karen MacPherson can be reached at kmacpherson@nationalpress.com.)
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February 2nd, 2007, 4:58 pm #5

:) Thank you Editor! I appreciate this so much!!!
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gracie
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February 2nd, 2007, 7:30 pm #6

The 'kind, little blue engine' said she "thought [she] could" because she was indeed the same engine who earlier said "I think I can" with regards to making it to the top of the hill. After that, it was an easy ride down.

The other engines were either tired, grumpy or proud and wouldn't even give trying a thought.
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February 2nd, 2007, 7:39 pm #7

:thanks: One and the same. Look at our age group discussing this. :haha:
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February 2nd, 2007, 9:08 pm #8

Thank you Gracie!!! :gig: I know the age group! :story: and this story is appropriate for all ages! :real:
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gracie
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February 2nd, 2007, 10:34 pm #9

I have read this book so many times that I may be now able to do so without the words. ;)

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Joined: March 29th, 2003, 4:05 pm

February 3rd, 2007, 7:18 am #10

Oh, what a priceless picture, Grace! I just remember it from my childhood--which was a few years back. :)
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