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!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s