Just Right for a Railroad Man
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), Hardcover, 9780374372620, 32pp.
Publication Date: April 29, 2008
Stormy Kromer is an engineer who loves driving trains. But he has one problem: he can’t find the right hat for a railroad man. He tries a derby, a cowboy 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 . . .
Brought to life by Andrea U’Ren’s colorful paintings, this spirited story is loosely based on the actual creation in 1903 of the hat still used by railroad workers today.
ERIC A. KIMMEL has written many books for children, including Don Quixote and the Windmills, an NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher. He lives in Portland, Oregon. ANDREA U’REN is the writer/illustrator of Mary Smith, winner of the IRA Children’s Book Award. She, too, lives in Portland, Oregon.
"U'Ren's vibrant paintings capture the palette and motion of Midwestern landscapes and city scenes. . . . With a snappy high-interest story and connections to hats, history, trains, gender equality, and industrialism, this book is a gem for libraries and classrooms." —School Library Journal
“Gentle lessons about listening, respecting women and creative problem-solving are delivered free of didacticism in this timely story based on historical fact. U’Ren’s witty, colorful illustrations enhance the playful tone. The depiction of early-20th-century work and home life is an added bonus.” —Kirkus Reviews“Kimmel draws upon his experience writing folk tales to adapt the history of the birth of the engineer’s cap to the familiar, silly-story structure, while U’Ren maximizes the comedy with spot-on facial expressions of doleful determination and jubilant triumph.” —Booklist
“There’s an appropriate huskiness to U’Ren’s ink and watercolor scenes, and plenty of visual humor in Stormy’s headgear trials.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books