Inspiration for this story was a little yellow gasoline work train engine that serves the Durbin Rocket Ride. The author feels the train was an unsung hero who needed recognition for his life. Her hopes are for children to let their imaginations follow Lil’ Leroi’s created life with his neighbors and his work. She wants to inspire their creativity and imagination to create their own stories. “Make them up and write them down,” she says. This story develops learning to like yourself, learning to live with neighbors, developing your talents, and making the best of your opportunities.
The Switchback Stories
These stories recognize the switchback tracks on the high Cheat Mountains. Powerful steam and Shay steam engines were built to switch back and forth on the mountain tracks as they climbed to the mountain top. This track system conquered the heights by gaining elevation on each switch back and forth and solved the transport problem. People conquer obstacles in their lives and move on in the same way.
The stories recognize that behavior changes and it can switch back and forth like the track system. The stories show recognition and understanding of the emotions which arise in our lives. The emotions of anger, love, and fear are shown in feelings, actions and behaviors. These emotions, when understood, communicated and controlled, can turn productive and enable fulfilling lives.
With this first book, the author’s aim is to capture children’s imagination as they follow through Lil’ leroi’s life adventures. Their lives will switch back and forth like the railroad tracks as they make it to their goals. Encouraging children to reach their potential is a privilege.
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