Books
10:00 am
Fri November 17, 2006

WEB EXTRA: Illustrator Loren Long

Here, Loren Long reads his "Note to the Reader" from The Little Engine that Could.

Kansas City, MO – From Loren Long's "Note to the Reader"

from The Little Engine that Could:

She would start with a soft whisper . . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Slowly her voice would grow . . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. Until finally with a resolute confidence, she'd read . . . I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Even today, as an adult, a father myself, I can still hear my mother's voice and that familiar cadence as she would read those powerful words to me. I can see the rocking chair we would sit in together in my bedroom, and I still feel the warmth of those moments.

Though multitudes of people have read The Little Engine That Could, spanning many generations, when I was a young boy it seemed to have been written and created only for me. It was my book, it was my story and it was my message.

I loved the spunk of Little Blue and her willing determination has inspired and actually sustained me in some pretty harrying instances throughout my life.

I'm comforted by the knowledge that my grandma read The Little Engine That Could over and over to my mother all the way back in the 1940s when she was a little girl. My mother then read it to me time and time again when I was little. I have now read it to my little boys over and over again. And one day, perhaps, my two sons will read The Little Engine That Could again and again to their own children . . . my grandkids.

? LOREN LONG