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Three Little Engines

From Bob McKinnon comes this modern retelling of the beloved classic, Little Engine that Could, that asks young readers, “How does your journey differ from others?” It also serves as a thank you letter to all the parents, teachers, role models, and even strangers, who help to clear the storm or pull the tree trunk from their track.

Available in your favorite bookstores.

The Work of
Bob McKinnon

This website features the work of Bob McKinnon. He is a writer, designer, podcast host, children’s author and teacher. What unites all of his work is the desire to help others move up in life – just as others have helped him. Learn more about Bob and his work in the About section of this website.

Three Little Engines

I think I can, I think I can, I think I… can’t?  What’s an Engine to do when even believing in yourself won’t get you to the top of the mountain? In this modern retelling of the beloved The Little Engine That Could, The Little Blue Engine and her friends attempt to reach the town on the other side of the mountain, but they quickly realize that not every engine is on the same track, and they all face different obstacles in their journey. In Three Little Engines author Bob McKinnon asks young readers: How does your journey differ from others?

While paying homage to the beloved classic, author Bob McKinnon acknowledges that although positive thinking and confidence are important, they are not always enough to help you succeed. In many instances, success requires a helping hand. This book is a gentle introduction to the idea of socioeconomic mobility and inequality in America. Heavily inspired by his own experiences, McKinnon teaches the youngest of readers how to recognize opportunity and inequality in the American Dream, and, most importantly, how to extend a helping hand to those on different tracks of life. At its heart, Three Little Engines is a thank you letter to all the parents, teachers, role models, and even strangers, who help to clear the storm or pull the tree trunk from your track.

Three Little Engines is now a New York Times best seller!  Order your copy today from your favorite online bookseller or your local bookstore:

 

See “The life lessons of Three Little Engines” featured on CBS Sunday Morning

What is Your American Dream Score

What is Your American Dream Score?

Spend five minutes taking this quiz, and you’ll find out what factors were working in your favor and what you had to overcome to get where you are today. At the end, you’ll receive an overall score and a personalized summary of the results (and probably a big dose of pride and gratitude).

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Progress

Understandably, we can be prone to seeing and focusing on the problems around us. I myself have succumbed to this bias of problems over solutions with some regularity. Anyone who follows the daily news might fall in the same sinking boat. After all, we’ve grown up in an era of “if it bleeds it leads.” Even my former literary agent once told me that books about problems sell better than those that offer solutions. Ugh.

Yet if we take off our mud covered glasses, we might be surprised at what has happened over the last few weeks.

Gas prices, while still high, have fallen for seven straight weeks and are now almost a dollar lower than their previous high.

The economy added over a half a million jobs last month, far outstripping expectations.

The Senate is on the verge of passing the largest Climate Change legislation in our nation’s history (and perhaps the world.) That same legislation also makes important strides in healthcare – including the prospect of lowering prescription drug costs.

Members of both parties in Congress have come together to pass the first gun legislation in 30 years. Additional bi-partisan bills were passed that increased veteran’s benefits, accepted Finland and Sweden into NATO and provided important domestic investment into microchip manufacturing.

Senate Republicans even drafted a letter supporting Nancy Pelosi and her visit to Taiwan – signaling our support for this democratic country.

Around the country – in states labeled both blue and red – people and groups were coming together to codify important rights.

And if you want a little more far out inspiration. I encourage you to look at the images that continue to come in from the Webb Telescope – my favorite might be the Cartwheel Galaxy pictured here.

Now I’m not naive. I know the world is full of suffering, injustices and cause for concern. It is highly likely that this note does not age well.

At the same time, in this present moment, pausing to see beyond the problems to the progress around us offers hope. It demonstrates that change is possible. As the old adage goes, you have to see it to believe it.

Each of the examples above and in fact all change, big and small, on a national level and in your local community, happens because a group of people thought it was possible. They decided that together they could make progress. And they did.

In the words of the journalist and advocate, Norman Cousins, “Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible.”

Believe.


See all posts from Moving Up Mondays blog

Monday Morning Notes

Delivered to your mailbox each Monday morning, these short notes offer an opportunity each week to reflect on who and what contributes to where we end up in life. Readers tell us it’s a great way to start their week on a positive note. See the latest note below:

Progress

Understandably, we can be prone to seeing and focusing on the problems around us. I myself have succumbed to this bias of problems over solutions with some regularity. Anyone who follows the daily news might fall in the same sinking boat. After all, we’ve grown up in an era of “if it bleeds it leads.” Even my former literary agent once told me that books about problems sell better than those that offer solutions. Ugh.

Yet if we take off our mud covered glasses, we might be surprised at what has happened over the last few weeks.

Gas prices, while still high, have fallen for seven straight weeks and are now almost a dollar lower than their previous high.

The economy added over a half a million jobs last month, far outstripping expectations.

The Senate is on the verge of passing the largest Climate Change legislation in our nation’s history (and perhaps the world.) That same legislation also makes important strides in healthcare – including the prospect of lowering prescription drug costs.

Members of both parties in Congress have come together to pass the first gun legislation in 30 years. Additional bi-partisan bills were passed that increased veteran’s benefits, accepted Finland and Sweden into NATO and provided important domestic investment into microchip manufacturing.

Senate Republicans even drafted a letter supporting Nancy Pelosi and her visit to Taiwan – signaling our support for this democratic country.

Around the country – in states labeled both blue and red – people and groups were coming together to codify important rights.

And if you want a little more far out inspiration. I encourage you to look at the images that continue to come in from the Webb Telescope – my favorite might be the Cartwheel Galaxy pictured here.

Now I’m not naive. I know the world is full of suffering, injustices and cause for concern. It is highly likely that this note does not age well.

At the same time, in this present moment, pausing to see beyond the problems to the progress around us offers hope. It demonstrates that change is possible. As the old adage goes, you have to see it to believe it.

Each of the examples above and in fact all change, big and small, on a national level and in your local community, happens because a group of people thought it was possible. They decided that together they could make progress. And they did.

In the words of the journalist and advocate, Norman Cousins, “Progress begins with the belief that what is necessary is possible.”

Believe.

Attribution with Bob McKinnon

Attribution is a podcast, where people from all walks of life, reflect on who and what has contributed to where they ended up. Our hope is after each episode, you feel a little more inspired, grateful, or supported, then when you first hit play. Check out the latest episode below:

Episode 17: Seeing w/ Andrea Elliott

Andrea Elliott has documented the lives of families living in poverty, Muslim immigrants and other people on the margins of power. She is an investigative reporter for The New York Times and the author of Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City (winner of the 2022 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction.) Her book and our conversation were eye-opening. I hope it helps you see better too. 

Links to learn more about:  Andrea Elliott, Invisible Child