The Little Engine that Could — (No Watty Piper?)

by
Joe reading to Jackson before dinner.  In 1980 this copy was given to Jackson's mother (my older daughter) by my parents.  My parents gave a different copy to me in 1960.

Joe reading to Jackson before dinner. In 1980 this copy was given to Jackson's mother (my older daughter) by my parents. My parents gave a different copy to me in 1960.

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Today I was with my dad near Rolfe, Iowa, for several hours.  Later, both of our daughters, son-in-law, and three-year-old grandson came to Bill’s and my home.  We relaxed (or combined “corn flower” if you talk with farmer Jackson!) and had dinner.  Jackson was so excited to be at “Nanna’s and Grandpa Bill’s” and to see Aunt Katie and Uncle Joe.  When I was working on dinner I noticed it had gotten quieter. I turned around and saw Jackson sitting on Joe’s lap, listening very intently to Joe’s soothing voice as he read The Little Engine that Could.  “I think I can, I think I can….”

How special to observe a young child absorbed in a classic as he/she is sitting on the lap of someone who is bringing the story to life.

The top inscription "Louise - Christmas - 1960" is in the copy of The Little Engine that Could that my parents gave to me.  It was the silver anniversary edition.  The bottom inscription is in the copy my parents gave to my daughter, Abby, in 1980.  Bill and I gave Jackson his own copy in 2006.

The top inscription "Louise - Christmas - 1960" is in the copy of The Little Engine that Could that my parents gave to me. It was the silver anniversary edition. The bottom inscription is in the copy my parents gave to my daughter, Abby, in 1980. Bill and I gave Jackson his own copy in 2006. (Click photo to enlarge.)

As a teacher librarian in elementary schools for seventeen years, many, many times I told children there was a man named Watty Piper who wrote The Little Engine that Could.  I didn’t know until tonight that Watty Piper is a pseudonym.

That was disappointing to me, but even more disappointing when I learned that over the years, several people “authored” children’s books using the name of Watty Piper.  I know pseudonyms are common, but I like the idea of thinking there was a real guy actually named “Watty” behind this children’s classic.

If you are curious to learn more, Google “BookRags Watty Piper.”  Also, Google “Little Engine Plotnick.”

(Click here to go to this blog’s home page.)

Advertisements

One Response to “The Little Engine that Could — (No Watty Piper?)”

  1. Peg Says:

    Another keepsake. The six of you together. You in the kitchen, and the rest turning quiet. Joe’s soothing voice. The so-familiar “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” The 1960 date when you were five. And the 1980 and 2006 dates. Priceless.

    By the way, for anyone else out there who didn’t get it at first: Think of Farmer Jackson’s “combined ‘corn flower’ . . . as in COM-bined . . . with a COM-bine! 🙂 Cute! 🙂

    I like how you cropped the photo, too, Louise. No faces. Lets us fill in the blanks as to of whom we imagine the photo coud also be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: