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.
Have you ever asked yourself this question? Or wondered why your life turned differently than you expected or from others you know. On this site, you’ll find tools, writing and podcast episodes that explores this question and others. Watch Bob’s TEDx talk to learn about his journey and the science behind how we see our lives and those of others.
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:
As the saying goes, this is the season for giving. Yet for some, including myself, the giving is often focussed on just a few days.
For the rest of the month of December, we’re running around frantically trying to wrap things up – not just the presents we’ve purchased but various end-of-year projects – both work and personal – that have piled up the previous months.
As a result, this season of giving – intended to bring joy and appreciation – can instead take away our energy and goodwill.
In an attempt to break the cycle and ground myself in the true spirit of the season, I plan on giving at least one gift every day in December.
What does this look like in practice? I’m not sure.
I imagine on some days, I may make a donation to a charity doing good in the world, maybe pay for a stranger’s meal in a restaurant where I’m eating. I could give a compliment to someone who looks like they could use one. Or take a pause from the craziness to give someone I care about my time and appreciation.
On this last point, let me share a gift I received yesterday from my oldest daughter. Many years ago, we took guitar lessons together. As is often the case, her interest shifted to other activities and the lessons stopped. I still play the guitar occasionally as a means to relax and relieve stress. Her’s has not left its case in at least a year or two.
Yesterday was a particularly stressful day for me so I picked up my guitar to play a few songs. Out of nowhere, much to my surprise and delight, she walked into my room with her guitar in hand and asked if she could play with me.
I could not have asked for a more precious gift. She is a natural musician blessed with a beautiful voice. Within a few minutes it was like we were transported back to when she was a little girl and we would regularly play concerts in our living room while the rest of the family looked on and occasionally sang along.
I get choked up even typing that last line – a reflection of how much I loved those days and relished the opportunity, if just for one night, to relive them.
Time is perhaps the greatest gift we have to give one another. Yet it is often elusive. Its passing is both swift and bittersweet but its value appreciates exponentially over time.
We played just five or six songs but that memory will most likely last longer than any physical objects we unwrap on Christmas.
I hope your giving this month takes many forms and stretches out over as many days as possible. And that you might be lucky enough to receive such a gift as I did yesterday.
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:
As the saying goes, this is the season for giving. Yet for some, including myself, the giving is often focussed on just a few days. For the rest of the month of December, we’re running around frantically trying to wrap things up – not just the presents we’ve purchased but various end-of-year projects – both …
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:
Stephanie Land is the New York Times bestselling author of Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive which is now the inspiration for the Netflix series of the same name. Her latest book, Class: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hunger and Higher Education is out now. During our conversation we talked about the challenges and judgment that she and other single moms have faced simply trying to create a better future for themselves and their children. This was an important conversation that I hope will change the way we see and support single mothers. I hope you enjoy.
Links to learn more about: