In case you haven’t guessed, soon – September 15th to be exact – is Make a Hat Day! I’ll let you in on a little secret: I love hats. Remember that Looney Tunes cartoon where the hats are floating down from the sky and each one has its own special power over its wearer? Of course, that’s exaggerated, but I feel hats have a special power of conveying messages. My other passion is picture books and putting those two loves into a blender got me thinking: what picture books do we have that focus on hats? Although I had read many picture books with a hat-centred story, I was nevertheless surprised by their quantity and diversity.
Then there are those books that are trying to teach the reader a lesson. Kiki’s Hats, for instance, teaches us that giving is much more rewarding than receiving. Stormy’s Hat not only teaches us a slice of history and large helping of ingenuity, but also about having an open mind and listening to others without the hindrance of stereotypes and preconceived ideas. Mr. Zinger’s Hat is a fabulous tale of how to cure the lonesome blues and escape the feeling of boredom and all with just a touch of imagination from within. In a similar vein, Jennie’s Hat is a tale of disappointment based on perception, but it too becomes transformed. All of these books are appropriate for readers 3-4 years of age and above. For a younger crowd, we have Old Hat, New Hat, focused on sensory vocabulary, and Which Hat Is That?, which explores different hats for different purposes.
If you’re more interested in fun, might I suggest Jon Klassen’s two hat-themed books: I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, both – beware – are not for the faint of heart as they do include inferred violence. For something equally whimsical but less gruesome, there is always Red Hat for a younger audience and the surreal Magritte’s Marvelous Hat that includes some unique pages within its pages. Lastly, Scarecrow’s Hat, although only tenuously about a hat, is a fun book about perseverance in obtaining goals.
All in all, it appears there is a hat-based picture book for nearly every age and occasion; yet, exploring the world of possibilities is the most fun of all . . . well, almost as much fun as wearing hats!
BookMonkie a.k.a. Michael Dolan
On Twitter: @BookMonkie
So, what did the hat say to the tie?
I’ll go on ahead, you hang around [click here and push]