The Little Engine That Could, Retold by Watty Piper from The Pony Engine by Mabel C. Bragg
New York: The Platt & Munk Co., Inc., Publishers, 1930. Lois L. LENSKI. Cloth. Lois L. LENSKI, illustrator. Second issue. 8vo; pp; red cloth over board, color pictorial onlay featuring a train on a track and black lettering; “Never Grow Old Series” list before half-title includes nine titles ending with The Little Engine That Could and a two-line statement on the front paste-down begins with “No. 358 Made in U.S.A.”; both b&w and color illustrations throughout; rubbed corners, minimal shelf wear, lacking its dust jacket; near fine. Near fine. Item #1762
This is a wonderful children’s book whose famous line “I think I can, I think I can” has been beloved and encouragement to its readers for generations.
This book has a very complicated edition issue history. We have used several sources and found that Zielinski’s online “Children’s Picturebook Collecting” is helpful for modern titles. Our research indicates that this copy is the first one to have a dust jacket (lacking on this example) and a paste-down on the front cloth board. The earlier editions in the “Never Grow Old Series” had a presentation box and no dust jacket, a paste-down image on the front blue board, and a black cloth spine. The points listed above in the book description are important in the identification of the edition.
The book also has a long and complicated history in regard to authorship. Platt and Munk published it under the pseudonym, Watty Piper, for author Arnold Munk (1888-1957), one of the publishing company’s owners.