When The Little Engine Couldn't is an original children's book written by Ilan Salzberg, and co-illustrated by Carmiella Salzberg and Katie Olson, published in April 2017. When The Little Engine Couldn’t is a modern twist on the classic tale, The Little Engine That Could, promoting resourcefulness in child’s play, environmental consciousness, and creative self-reliance. In our story, we imagine how children would respond to a scenario in which the outside resource which they’ve learned to rely upon, the train, stops bringing them food and toys everyday. As they embark on a journey to ask for help from the local Grocery Store, Toy Store, and Craftsman, the children become so engaged by the joy of their journey and finding what they need around them that they forget that they were concerned by the missing train to begin with!

After her brother, Ilan, approached her with the initial book concept in 2014, Carmiella conceptualized a matching art technique in which she would create the world of the book by printing found material onto paper in a method called 'collagraph printmaking'. Carmiella then brought on her dear college friend, the incredibly talented illustrator and animator, Katie, to help design the page layouts and to create each character out of cut-up magazine pages. The book thus becomes an interactive ‘I-Spy Found Material Game’ for adults and children to enjoy together. Answer key and reference images are located in the back of the book. Very clever readers just might notice that the material used to print each page reflects the content of that page....


For purchase, please visit the following links: 


Mascot Books

Barnes and Noble



Or Visit:

The Bookies Bookstore   4315 E. Mississippi Ave.  Denver, CO 80246

32nd Avenue Books, Toys and Gifts   3633 W. 32nd Ave.  Denver, CO 80211

Barnes and Noble Book Store   960 S Colorado Blvd.  Glendale, CO 80246

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