In children's book series 'All Aboard Georgia' kids travel the vast regions of the state by train

Rosalind and Maggie Bunn are the mother-daughter co-authors of "All Aboard," a series of children's stories set on train rides through Southern states. (Illustration by Keller Pyle)

Trains are not the most common mode of travel, but kids still love train rides. Rosalind and Maggie Bunn are the mother-daughter co-authors of “All Aboard,” a series of children’s stories set on train rides through Southern states. Harrison Keller Pyle Illustrated the colorful books. The Marietta, Georgia-based authors joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom to talk more about their series, and the installment “All Aboard, Georgia!”

Interview highlights:

How the state of Georgia inspired the first “All Aboard” book:

“We were actually asked for a book about Georgia because our previous collaboration, ‘Beau’s Bayou Treasure,’ illustrated by Michael P. White, you know, it was fantasy. I’m from South Louisiana. We know about the habitat, the Bayou, so it’s just a cool story about a little boy with the treasure map realizing that the habitat was the treasure. [For] ‘All Aboard, Georgia!,’ we were asked by the publisher, ‘Hey, we’d like a book about Georgia.’ So Maggie and I… decided that a train needed to travel through all the beautiful, wonderful regions of Georgia – the fictional train, the Piedmont Pacer. So it just kind of came to us, and we are fascinated with trains, but we never realized, and I think Maggie can confirm this, how many people still love trains, that are not our usual mode of transportation.”

Maggie said, “You write about what you know. So Georgia and Louisiana, we’ve both frequented many, many times, so we kind of knew where we wanted the train to visit. So when we go with different states that we haven’t been to frequently, it’s definitely going to be a little bit harder.”

Following the Piedmont Pacer on its track through Georgia:

“It begins in the Blue Ridge region of Georgia, and then it travels on all the way down to the Piedmont until we get to the coastal plains. So we go through each region of Georgia, from the highest point to the lowest point,” said Rosalind. “It’s all in rhyme, and we try to highlight some… places that maybe you’ve been to, or maybe you would just like to visit. We sort of bill it as just a sweet little travel guide for kids, for our great state.”

“We certainly have been to Savannah many times, and E. Shaver, which is the bookstore that’s kind of in that square, you can see the last part of the names. We know that the movie ‘Forrest Gump,’ of course, was filmed there, and then talking about the Native Americans who once lived in that land – we’ve done that in every book. We just thought signaling and showing those squares was a super cool thing to do,” Rosalind said.

How a mother and daughter teamed up as co-writing partners:

“A few years ago… I was kind of changing up rooms at home, you know, for a grandkid’s room, and then, of course, for the different families of my adult children,” recalled Rosalind. “I came across a lot of writing that Maggie had done as a child, even up through high school, and I was reading through it, and I was like, ‘Actually, Maggie was pretty good.’ And so I had an idea about a title, about a princess who really wanted a pet, based off of Maggie’s youngest sister, who would bring everything into the house. We would have to shake her down to make sure that there weren’t going to be any snakes or frogs in our home. And I called Maggie up, because she wasn’t living in Georgia at the time, and I said, ‘Hey, would you like to write this story with me?’…We did it, submitted it, and a publisher said, ‘Yes, we’d like to publish this.'”

More on Maggie and Rosalind Bunn and their “All Aboard” children’s book series can be found at