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Two stories: one inspiring, one peculiar

Submitted by madeline on

Throughout February, we’ve highlighted recordings from the Storytime Commons that celebrate influential African Americans.

On the last day of Black History Month, we’d like to draw your attention to Inventor Garrett Morgan: Champion of Safety, written and read by Lauren Kratz Prushko. When Malik receives a school assignment to write about a Black inventor, he has no idea where to start. His dad suggests trailblazer Garrett Morgan, inventor of the traffic light, the gas mask, and other technological advancements that have saved and improved countless lives. 

Black and white photo of African American Inventor Garrett Morgan on the left and red, yellow, and green traffic light border on the right

Morgan’s safety hood invention became widely known in 1916, when he led a rescue effort that saved construction workers’ lives after a tunnel explosion under Lake Erie. His safety masks were celebrated by the media in the aftermath of the explosion, but it took many years for Morgan himself to receive the recognition he deserved. 

 Learn more about Garrett Morgan:


Public Domain Diamonds in the Rough

It takes sifting through some terrible content in the public domain to find stories with good bones– things we can adapt with today’s young listeners in mind. Every once in a while, we come across interesting gems that are begging to be shared, even if they aren’t the best candidates for story recordings. 

We recently came across a bizarre title called The Slant Book by Peter Newell, published in 1910 by Harper & Brothers. A Gingerbread Man style story, it features a tot zooming down an urban hill in his baby carriage, causing mischief, and remaining just out of reach of the grownups who are trying to catch him.

Image from The Slant Book of a baby rolling down a hill in a carriage with his nanny chasing after him

The Slant Book has physical pages that literally slant!

If you nerd out on old books like we do, you can check out The Public Domain Review's analysis of this title.



On this last day of Black History Month, we highlight the remarkable story of Inventor Garrett Morgan: Champion of Safety by Lauren Kratz Prushko. We also share an odd little gem we came across when combing through the public domain.