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Author Hosted Storytime – Claudia Friddell for “Cool Off and Ride! A Trolley Trip to Beat the Heat”

August 13 @ 9:30 am - 10:00 am


out the Book:
This historical picture book about 1930s Baltimore residents beating the heat the old-fashioned way—by riding a trolley!— is filled with fascinating information on public transit and staying cool before the advent of air conditioning.

Everyone in Baltimore is hot and sticky, from little Hazel playing on the slide to the grandma knitting on the porch. So when evening comes, they all jump at the chance for a little “cool off and ride.” The whole neighborhood–from the Taylor twins to Grandpa, and even the dog!—piles onto a breezy homemade roller coaster, a city trolley!

In this charming, rhythmic romp, Claudia Friddell and Jenn Harney take us back to a time before air conditioning when you had to cool off any way you could. And the Cool Off and Ride Program was certainly a popular way! More than 8,000 people rode the trolleys every evening in the summer. Taking the streetcar brought the whole neighborhood together, and everyone’s fares helped keep the Baltimore streetcars running. This STEAM title is a terrific read-aloud that will also educate kids about weather and the history of transit in the United States.

“Friddell’s songlike text captures the city’s various characters on this summer day…All are invited to “cool off and ride” in a repeated refrain. Retro illustrations capture an atmosphere of hot weather in an old-school neighborhood and show a multiracial cast of characters finding a variety of ways to cope with the weather. While the premise here will undoubtedly have local appeal, any child who has experienced summer heat will understand the need to escape it and enjoy this rhythmic, lyrical tale…A gently humorous depiction of a city’s effort to beat the heat.” —Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:
Claudia Friddell is the author of several children’s books, including To the Front!: Clara Barton Braves the Battle of Antietam, Grace Banker and Her Hello Girls Answer the Call: The Heroic Story of WWI Telephone Operators, and Saving Lady Liberty: Joseph Pulitzer’s Fight for the Statue of Liberty. She has worked with children throughout her career, which included being a therapist, a school counselor, and a teacher.


August 13
9:30 am - 10:00 am


People’s Book
7014-A Westmoreland Ave.
Takoma Park, MD 20912 United States
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