Cool Off and Ride! A Trolley Trip to Beat the Heat


Author: Claudia Friddell


Illustrator: Jenn Harney

*Signed Bookplate*

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.