I know what you are you thinking, The Little Engine that Could needs a review like the Citizen Kane needs a review. The fact that this book is awesome goes without saying, so instead I would like to mention one aspect of the book that plays a part in pop culture. There are many different versions out there, but we use the 1954 edition by Watty Piper. Everyone knows the tale of thinking positively and the value of hard work. However, perhaps not everyone knows that screenwriting legend William Goldman uses The Little Engine as an important tool in the teaching of script writing.
In Goldman’s classic inside Hollywood novel, Adventures in the Screen Trade not only does he use the children’s story to demonstrate how studio pitch meetings are conducted, he shows how the story is an almost perfect example of how to write a movie. He talks about three-act structure, the role of conflict and the protagonist and the antagonist. So next time you read The Engine to your kid think about casting and how much of a budget you would need to bring the saga to life on the big screen.