Monthly Archives: June 2014

Warning Lights and Railroad Hats

Have you ever thought about how the Aircraft Warning Light at the top of The Empire State Building gets changed? Me neither! I’ve watched TV shows, read books, and even built a LEGO model of the iconic building, but I had never once thought about how the light at the top needs to be changed from time to time.


I love it when Bubba and I come across a book that makes you think about completely random things like Aircraft Warning Lights, and the other day we had two books (back-to-back) that did just that!


The first one was called, The Top Job by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel. This book begins on Career Day at a school. The students are telling their classmates all about the interesting jobs their parents do each day, so the class learns about parents who are jewelers, UFO hunters, and racecar drivers. When a little girl gets up in front of the class to talk about how her father changes light bulbs, all the kids start laughing. Those laughs quickly disappear as the girl describes the journey her father takes to change the light bulb on the top of the Empire State Building. By the end of the book, the teacher is asking if the class could go to work with the girl and her father sometime!

Top Job

The second book was called, Stormy’s Hat: Just Right for a Railroad Man. It’s written by Eric A Kimmel, and it tells the story of a railroad man (Stormy) who is searching for the perfect hat to wear on his train. He tries a cowboy’s hat, a fireman’s helmet, a pressman’s hat, and others before he finally listens to his wife (Ida). She designs and makes a hat that meets Stormy’s specifications, and once the other railroad workers see how well it works, Stormy and Ida open a factory to produce their hats for all the railroad workers who want one. It’s Ida’s design that we still see today!

Stormy's Hat

Just like the aircraft warning lights on the Empire State Building, I had seen railroad hats hundreds of times. And just like those warning lights, I had never really thought much about railroad hats. I had never thought about who came up with the design, and I definitely never thought about why it’s shaped the way it is, but the story behind it was really interesting.


I love stories like these… stories that make you think about something you see all the time in a whole new light! I’d highly recommend checking these two books out… and if you know of any other picture book like this, please leave a comment and name of the book!

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A Library Card For The Youngest Kids

Bubba loves cars. And trucks. And tractors. And trains. And boats. Basically, he loves anything with an engine that moves! He’s been in this phase for a while now, and I don’t see any signs of exiting the phase any time soon. For example, we recently went to a graduation where he held on to a blue matchbox car the ENTIRE time (the drive there, during the whole 2+ hour ceremony, and on the way home)!


There’s only one non-engine-powered item that Bubba will hold on to with the same ferocity… His library card!

My First Library Card

A couple months ago, our library started offering a “My First Library Card” to children ages birth to six, so I made sure Bubba got one of his own!


The idea behind the card is to have it act like a training card for the littlest of kids and to help foster their love for reading. The card allows Bubba to check out up to 10 books at a time (without fines) and expires when he turns six. At that time, he’ll get a regular “big kid” library card. How cool is that?!


Obviously I’m not the only person who thinks the card is pretty cool – Bubba holds on to it like it’s one of his cars, trucks, or tractors. Before we start walking over to the library, I hand him his card. When we get back home, I have to pry it from his fingers! He doesn’t want to let it go! I’m always surprised when he willingly hands it over to the librarian to be scanned, because he never willingly hands it over to me!


I’m so glad our library started offering the “My First Library Card,” and I hope others will do the same! It’s kind of nice having something other than a car or truck in his hands once in a while!


Bubba and his card


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