Stormy's Hat: Just Right for a Railroad Man

by Eric A. Kimmel and Andrea U'Ren

Railroad engineer Stormy Kromer drives the Red Stack line from St. Paul to Chicago.... read more

Railroad engineer Stormy Kromer drives the Red Stack line from St. Paul to Chicago. He loves his work, but he doesn’t love his hat. In fact, he doesn’t love any of them. His derby hat blows off in the wind when the train goes into a tunnel. The paper pressman’s hat he tries bursts into flame from a rogue cinder. Every night he comes home and complains, and every night his wife, Ida, tries to help, but Stormy always interrupts: “Aw, don’t you worry your pretty little head . . . I’ll figure out something.” The night Stormy comes home with a pounding headache from the heavy fireman’s hat he’s borrowed, Ida has had enough. “My head isn’t little. It’s as big as yours. Either listen to what I have to say, or stop complaining.” And what Ida, who turns out to be a seamstress, has to say is that she can make him the perfect hat—she just needs him to describe what it should look like. Eric A. Kimmel’s droll picture book tells the (mostly) true story of how the traditional railroad workers’ hat came to be. Andrea U’ren’s terrific illustrations perfectly complement the humor while making it clear all along that Ida may be able to give Stormy exactly what he’s looking for. (Ages 5–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2009

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