Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Non-Fiction
Stormy's Hat

Stormy's Hat

Spring 2008 Non-Fiction
Ages: 5 - 8 yrs.
Author: Eric A. Kimmel
Illustrator: Andrea U'Ren
ISBN: 978-0-374-37262-0
Hardcover Price: $16.95
Review:
There's no shortage of books available for young train-lovers, ranging from popular animated railroad characters to classics like The Little Engine That Could. However, most of these stories tend to be light on female characters--which makes Stormy's Hat a welcome change for the genre. Here, Eric A. Kimmel chronicles the real-life quest of George "Stormy" Kromer, a train engineer, to find a suitable work hat. During the early twentieth century, Stormy and his fellow engineers wore fedoras and other brimmed hats, which failed to stay on in high winds. The perfect hat would need to fit securely, be lightweight and packable, and protect the engineer from hot embers. Stormy tries hat after hat, but it's only when he seeks the help of his wife, an accomplished seamstress, that he succeeds. Thanks to Ida Kromer, railroad workers (and the little children who portray them) have the familiar striped cap we recognize today. Kimmel handles the historical facts in age-appropriate language, and this true story plays out as engagingly as any folktale. Andrea U'Ren's painted illustrations are a lively complement to Kimmel's text. This book will please train-obsessed children, but also has plenty of appeal for others.
Zarina Mullan Plath   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Zarina Mullan Plath has undergraduate degrees in both biology and English. Her interests include cookbooks/culinary history, South Asian literature (especially in regards to South Asians in America), and, of course, children's literature. Her poetry is included in the anthology Sweeping Beauty (U. of Iowa Press, 2005). Zarina lives in Central Illinois with her husband, two children, and assorted pets.

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Farrar, Straus & Giroux
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Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0374372624/parentschoice-20

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