Mike Mulligan And His Steam Shovel

By Virginia Lee Burton

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Publish Date: 1939

Children’s book.

For many years, Mike Mulligan and Mary Anne, his coal-powered steam shovel, have dug canals, railways, highways, the foundations of skyscrapers and the landing fields of aeroplanes. Now, they face competition from gasoline, diesel and electric shovels. But Mike might have just found a solution! He offers to dig the cellar for a small town’s town hall in a single day, and, if they fail, the town won’t have to pay them. The two get to work and by sundown the cellar is dug, but they haven’t left a ramp by which Mary Anne can get out. A child then suggests that Mary Anne be converted into a boiler and Mike become its janitor, and the two happily agree.