The Little Engine That Could was one of the few early childhood reads that stayed with me throughout my life. The “I think I can” and “I thought I could” phrases resonated as a teenager and into my adulthood during difficult situations. The optimism of the spunky blue train inspired me and planted those words deep in my cortex to be accessed when the going got the tough. I read the book to my toddler son many years ago and realized the engine was female. Perhaps that was my subconscious connection to the story.
Decades later, a few days ago, The Little Engine That Could became a neighbor to my book The Goodnight Train on the Amazon Best seller list of Children’s Train books. My book was Number 1 and this childhood classic was Number 2! My reaction was disbelief. I was pushed along by “I think I can – I think I can” on those days when I sat in my chair and could not find the right words or rhythm to finish a two line stanza for a book about a sleepy train. When The Goodnight Train, continued to chug along 13 years after it’s publication, I often smiled, “I thought I could.” I could never have imagined my book would be graced with such an illustrious neighbor, one of my favorite childhood books!