Book review: You Can!: Words of Wisdom From the Little Engine That Could, by Charlie Hart, illustrated by Jill Howarth

Hart, Charlie. You Can!: Words of Wisdom From the Little Engine That Could. Illustrated by Jill Howarth. Grosset & Dunlap, 2018. Unpaged. $12.99. ISBN 9781524784683. Ages 8+. P6 Q7

We are familiar with The Little Engine that Could and often read the book to inspire children to believe in themselves and to believe that they can accomplish their goals. This small book is not a story but is filled with quick and simple words of wisdom based on the story and illustrations from the Little Engine That Could. One page contains short words of wisdom and the other page contains colorful, cheerful illustrations. Each page can stand alone or can be read straight through. Some of the words of wisdom, such as, “There is always light at the end of the tunnel” may be advanced for young readers, but adults can explain the meaning to them.

Verdict: If I read this book to children, I would read The Little Engine that Could first. Without that, they would not have a reference for the book and it would not be as meaningful. I think older children and adults will enjoy this book since it has familiar illustrations and the words of wisdom reminding them that they can do it. I recommend this book for public libraries.

April 2018 review by Tami Harris.