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A Boy Had a Mother Who Bought Him a Hat

A Boy Had a Mother Who Bought Him a Hat

4.0 1
by Karla Kuskin, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)

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What's a boy to do when his mom buys him everything he wants? Should he take his new toys everywhere?


What's a boy to do when his mom buys him everything he wants? Should he take his new toys everywhere?

Editorial Reviews

Time magazine
Praise for Karla Kuskin, THE PHILHARMONIC GETS DRESSED“One of those rare collaborations to which the word classic instantly adheres.”
Booklist (starred review)
*GREEN AS A BEAN“Kuskin offers more winning poetry in this cheerful picture book… Sure to be a read-aloud favorite.”
The Horn Book
Praise for Kevin HawkesWICKED BIG TODDLAH“Hawkes develops the tall tale for all it’s worth in big, bright illustrations that burst with comic details and make the book ideal for group sharing.”
*GREEN AS A BEAN"Kuskin offers more winning poetry in this cheerful picture book… Sure to be a read-aloud favorite."
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Brilliant, buoyant, beautiful are the words that describe Kuskin's newly illustrated story. The boy's mother indeed buys him a hat, but she doesn't stop there. Her many purchases include shoes, boots, skis, a scary mask, a mouse, an elephant, and a cello. "He loved them so much/that whatever he did/or whatever he said/when dressed in his hat/which was woolly and red,/while holding his mouse/in its house of sky blue,/and wearing his shoes/which were hidden but new,/he did with his boots on…." Hawkes's quirky, old-fashioned paintings add a great deal to the rollicking text. For example, when the boy receives the shoes, the illustration shows him extending a newly shod foot as he soars on a tire swing, a bird singing from the top of his red woolly hat, the mouse in a Fred Astaire pose outside its house, and a happy, striped cat clinging to the tire. On the final spread, the boy's hat flies off because of the frosty, windy heights atop an elephant's back, prompting his mother to yell, "It is very clear that you must have a new hat." A bonus picture on the copyright page shows the child and his animal friends protected from the falling snow by a giant sombrero. For those yet to experience Kuskin's work, this is a delightful door through which to enter her special universe, and legions of fans will be thankful that this story has been given new life.—Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY
Kristi Jemtegaard
Hawkes's style is the perfect match for the escalating mayhem of Karla Kuskin's madcap text…Jolly good galumphing fun.
—The Washington Post
Children's Literature - Jacquie Skurla
A young boy is given an oversized woolly red hat by his mother, which he wears wherever he goes because he loves it so. Throughout the flowing text of this charming cumulative rhyme, his mother gifts him with a mouse in a blue house, then shiny new shoes, a pair of boots, skis, and a Halloween mask. He wears them all with loving pride. An elegant cello is given him next, to be played on a large grey elephant. He does all and wears all with grand aplomb—until his hat falls off! Kevin Hawkes' gentle but colorful pencil and watercolor illustrations capture quite perfectly the joys of childhood throughout the seasons of a year in the life of this adventurous boy. The author's use of not quite perfect rhyme patterns complement the exuberance of the child; parents and teachers will especially enjoy reading this book aloud to their charges, who will delight in identifying with the book's main character. Along with the venerable cumulative rhyme The House That Jack Built, this book deserves a place on every library's shelf. Reviewer: Jacquie Skurla
Kirkus Reviews
Hawkes produces new illustrations to accompany Kuskin's cumulative poem, originally published in 1976, which begins simply enough-a mother buys a boy a red, woolly hat. The story then unapologetically leaves logic behind, veering off on a nonsensical course directed by the need for the next rhyme and the desire for silliness. The boy won't take off the hat, a fact that somehow prompts his mother to buy him a mouse, and some shoes, new boots, yellow skis, a Halloween mask and a cello. Finally, his mother buys an elephant, and it is at this point that the poet seems to lose control of the unwieldy cumulative rhyme with its long series of nested phrases and ends by having the boy lose his hat. The poet's devoted fans will likely not be bothered by this, and they will enjoy the clever details added by the tongue-in-cheek illustrations, which, in deadpan fashion, pile on the accessories until the red-hatted boy sits astride his elephant, playing his cello and wearing skis. Look for grandma's blue in-line skates! (Picture book. 3-8)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Karla Kuskin wrote more than fifty books for children, including the Philharmonic Gets Dressed, Green as a Bean, and Moon, Have You Met My Mother She was the winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry, among other honors. And once, long ago, may have given her son a woolly red hat.

Kevin Hawkes is the illustrator of more than thirty-five acclaimed picture books and chapter books, including the New York Times bestseller Library Lion, Weslandia, and Sidewalk Circus. He lives with his charming wife and children in southern Maine, where he is often found wandering aimlessly in his garden. Possibly wearing a woolly red hat.

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A Boy Had a Mother Who Bought Him a Hat 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
reesspace More than 1 year ago
In A Nutshell: The book is cute, large, and a fun read. Any book that keeps your kids attention is a good book. We have to read every night and I love books that are repetitive. It helps keep your kid actively involved. By the 2nd verse my son and daughter were saying the story along with me. Repetition is very important to children who have Sensory Processing Delays or ADD. What I Can Tell You: The book is great for ages 4-10. My daughters preschool class has my copy right now and I am dying to hear how they did with it. My daughter has asked me to read it a few times. I love this book because it is a bigger book that can lie on all of our laps as we read.