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A Toy Streetcar was only the Start...

Railroad Engineer Olive Dennis written by Kaye Baillie and illustrated by Tanja Stephani, published by The Innovation Press.

The rhythm of Kaye Baillie's text in this picture book biography will take you on a ride, with all its bumps and turns, through the life of Olive Dennis.

From building toys for her and her brother




to being the only woman in her civil engineering class at Cornell and then




to become the first female railroad engineer at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company where she was




to make improvements no one had thought of before! Olive Dennis will inspire readers to look around, to see what might be




and to figure out a solution!

Tanja Stephani further enhances this enjoyable read with her artwork. Her choice of font and subdued color palette are perfectly nostalgic of the decades spanning from turn-of-the century through early to mid-1900s.

Imagine It!

One of Olive's jobs was to ride miles and miles of train routes in order to identify areas that could use improvements. Thanks to her, passenger trains were fitted with more comfortable seats, bigger bathrooms, and air conditioning, among many other luxuries of the time.

Do you ride a school bus each day? Or, have you had to ride one on field trips? Maybe you ride the city bus on occasion. The next time you are on any sort of public transportation...

IMAGINE how you could make the ride more comfortable and enjoyable.

IMAGINE lots of different people riding the bus: old, young, tall, short, ... even four-legged furry passengers! :)

What changes would you make? Who would benefit from the changes? What materials would you need?

Draw up a plan of what your ideal vehicle would look like and how it could work.

Imagine presenting it to the bus company! (Or to your parents, or your teachers, ... ).

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