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Goodnight Trolley

A unique bedtime ritual with all family members on one bed and a story of the trolley bringing people in the neighborhood back home.

Photo of Shivani Chakrachhattri
7 10

Written by


Clang, Clang!

The trolley comes by

As we snuggle in our bed   

Pull the covers to our head 


Beep, Beep!

The trolley comes by

The driver with his blue cap 

Toots the big horn tap tap tap


Clink, Clink!

The trolley comes by

In the window it’s Abuela 

Coming home from her escuela


Rrrr, Rrrr!

The trolley comes by

See the baby in dad’s pack

Babble as he pats her back 


Ting Ting!

The trolley comes by

Old man Abe with bag of fruits

Hair a whirl of wild white shoots 


Hum, Hum!

The trolley comes by

Tillie’s tunes around her head

Cannot hear what neighbors said.


Ding Ding!

The trolley comes by

Mom’s the one we’re waiting for

Now she’s walking to our door 


Shh, Shh!

The trolley came by

We’re all snuggling in our bed  

Pulling covers to our head  


Ting, Ting!

The trolley came by.....

Describe the intended vision for your early childhood book manuscript in 1-2 sentences

The vision is to let the child be in a sacred space where he is having maximum sensory reception and is learning about urban public transport and it's people. The narrative is that a family is lying on a bed together.

Share your suggested book title

Goodnight Trolley

PLEASE USE THE VERSION OF THIS QUESTION AT THE TOP OF THE SUBMISSION FORM: Share a draft of your manuscript (250 word limit, not including title).

How has this book been informed by early childhood language development research and evidence? (response minimum 250 Characters)

The trolley is a trustworthy and reliable character which builds trust for the urban setting early on. This book will encourage imagination and empathy by offering different personas and stories of community building. The words that represent trolley sounds allow for the caretaker to be quite animated and add his/her own magic while reading it to the child. And not the least, this book will offer a high opportunity to learn new vocabulary.

Please describe any familiarity you may have with Philadelphia and its residents? (optional question)

Our teammate Beth has her son living in Philly. He met his wife there and they shares his home in West Philly with other family members. Beth makes many trips to visit him and considers Philly a home away from home. She has jumped on the SEPTA trolley cars many times to take her in and out of the city.

How have you crafted this manuscript to resonate with and/or reflect the experiences of those living in urban contexts? (optional question)

Our book will include a diverse collection of people living in a dense and rich environment. We developed each character to represent a variety of personalities, ethnic perspectives, and cultural experiences. We included a common feature in Philly, the SEPTA trolley car. We hope this book helps to bring a sense of community for a child based on their own neighborhood. Perhaps the caregiver can improvise and ask the child who in their neighborhood would hop off the trolley!

Location: Country


Location: State or Department

Calfornia, Massachusetts, Gujarat

Website URL (optional question)

Tell us more about you / your team

We are Beth, Shivani, and Aparna. Beth is the one who cycles the fastest among the three and also is a K-12 Innovation Specialist (WHS Fab Lab). She is also the digital learning coach at Watertown schools, MA. Shivani is a product designer who builds tangible innovative games for children. ( And Aparna is a designer and also has helped the team with the illustrations in this project.(

Provide an example visual identity for a look and feel you might like to achieve. ( (optional question, 3-5 visuals)

Multiple Choice - Have you been previously published (online, self-published, and print included)?

  • No

Do you have an agent?

  • No

How did you hear about the Challenge? (optional question)

  • OpenIDEO announcement email

What best describes you? (optional question)

  • I am/we are creatives, writers, or artists


Join the conversation:

Photo of Madhav Mundlye

Good job!

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