Mike Mulligan and his Steam Shovel

Mike Mulligan By Virginia Lee Burton

This book, first published in 1939, was written by Virginia Lee Burton and is the story of Mike, his steam shovel Mary Anne, and the unusual home they find.

Mary Anne is a steam shovel in an age when gas, diesel, and electric shovels are beginning to take over all the work.  Mike is confident that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as a hundred men can dig in a week, but he can’t prove it until the town of Popperville gives him the chance to dig the cellar for their new town hall.  Mike promises to get the job done in one day or not get paid.

Mike and Mary Anne dig furiously and sure enough they complete the cellar before the sun goes down.  But there is a small problem.  When all the dust clears, they realize they have not given themselves any way out of the hole they have dug.  A little boy who has been watching all day comes up with a solution.

What could possibly solve a problem like this?  Read the book and find out!