Author/Illustrator: Eric A. Kimmel / Andrea U’Ren
Publisher/Date: Farrar, Straus and Giroux / 2008
Genre/Audience: Historical Fiction / Ages 5+
Themes: History, trains, hats, women, sewing
Opening: “Stormy Kromer was an engineer. He drove a locomotive on the Red Stack line from St. Paul to Chicago. Stormy loved driving trains.”
Synopsis: From book jacket – Stormy Kromer is an engineer who loves driving trains. But he has one problem with his job: he can’t find a hat that’s right for a railroad man. He tries a derby, a cowboy hat, a presssman’s hat, and a fireman’s hat. Nothing works. Stormy tells his wife, Ida, not to worry, he’ll figure out something. But Ida isn’t worrying – she’s thinking. If only Stormy would listen…
Why I Love This Book:
At the library, the boys and I grabbed this book because it had to do with trains. But I really love that it is a historical account of something we always associate with train engineers: their headgear! Bravo to Eric Kimmel for researching this obscure topic and bringing it to life for the young (and not so young!) audience. I also love the message that women have good ideas and should have a voice. Stormy learned this from his wife, Ida!
Author Eric Kimmel reads his stories on his webpage (not Stormy’s Hat, though) - http://ericakimmel.com/hear-a-story/
A railroad history - http://www.sdrm.org/history/timeline/
The Stormy Kromer Mercantile still exists and makes hats! Check out their history page - http://www.stormykromer.com/history
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