cover image You Can! Words of Wisdom from “The Little Engine That Could”

You Can! Words of Wisdom from “The Little Engine That Could”

Charlie Hart, illus. by Jill Howarth. Grosset & Dunlap, $12.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-5247-8468-3

This collection of guiding wisdom, inspired by The Little Engine That Could, features the engine in illustrations strongly reminiscent of George and Doris Hauman’s classic art. Earnest words of advice set against pastel-colored pages accompany each image. In one, the Little Engine receives some loving care from a bear, elephant, and toy soldier: “Keep yourself in good working order. Everybody needs a little downtime for maintenance.” Elsewhere, the Little Engine must choose between three different tracks: “Knowing which track to choose can be scary. But nothing feels better than finally getting started!” Howarth emphasizes the importance of kindness, generosity, and making friends: “Being of service to others means you’ll always have plenty of friends along the way,” while it’s also important to “go at your own pace!” Howarth’s visual vignettes carry warmth and vintage charm. The slender format accentuates the book’s gift potential, while the advice comes across as germane to readers embarking on new adventures or needing extra encouragement: “If you think you can... you can!” Ages 5–up. [em](Mar.) [/em]