Jennie's Hat

Overview

Jennie's aunt is sending her a hat, and Jennie can hardly wait. "It'll be big, and flowery, and oh - so very beautiful," she tells herself happily. But when the box comes, the hat inside is very plain. What can Jennie do to make her hat truly special?

When the hat Jennie receives from her aunt is not as fancy as she had hoped, her bird friends decorate it for her.

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 1985 Soft Cover Very Good 0064430723 (N91)

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Overview

Jennie's aunt is sending her a hat, and Jennie can hardly wait. "It'll be big, and flowery, and oh - so very beautiful," she tells herself happily. But when the box comes, the hat inside is very plain. What can Jennie do to make her hat truly special?

When the hat Jennie receives from her aunt is not as fancy as she had hoped, her bird friends decorate it for her.

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Editorial Reviews

Horn Book
Certain to enchant little girls.
Publishers Weekly
In Ezra Jack Keats's mixed-media collage conveys the miraculous transformation of Jennie's Hat (1966), from a plain, broad-brimmed number to something stylish, with a bit of help from her feathered friends.
Children's Literature
As Jennie waits for the new hat from her aunt, she imagines how beautiful it will be. The plain straw hat with the simple ribbon that she unwraps is a source of disappointment. Wearing it to church among the ladies with their flower-bedecked hats only makes Jennie wish that her hat, too, looked more like a flower garden. On the way home the birds that Jennie has so generously fed reward her kindness by decorating her hat with flowers, leaves, a valentine or two, and even a nest with baby birds. Recalling a time not so long ago when ladies wore hats, the transformation of Jennie's hat still has relevancy today. The child who is determined to find a way to beautify the drab will be inspired by Jennie's tenacity. Keats' collage illustrations take on a deeper hue in this new imprint. The bright yellow is more golden and pinks have a more dusky tone. Rather that detract from the original, this new palette is reminiscent of a Victorian greeting card. If you have never owned this classic story or need to replace a well-worn copy, this new edition will fit the bill. 2003 (1966), Viking,
— Beverley Fahey
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064430722
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/28/1985
  • Series: Trophy Picture Bks.
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.95 (w) x 8.13 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Ezra Jack Keats
Caldecott Medal recipient Ezra Jack Keats (1916-1983) is the beloved author of more than eighty-five books for children, including Goggles! and The Snowy Day.

Biography

When Ezra Jack Keats began creating children's books in the 1960s, he noticed something missing from the genre and chose to correct it.

Keats had already illustrated several kids' books and was starting his second when he made a simple but important decision: The main character would be black. "None of the manuscripts I'd been illustrating featured any black kids-except for token blacks in the background," Keats later wrote. "My book would have him there simply because he should have been there all along."

The character, Peter, debuted in The Snowy Day, which won a Caldecott Medal. Perhaps the strongest statement Keats made about race at the time was making ethnicity (his first book's protagonist was a Puerto Rican boy) completely incidental to the story. The books' themes are universal: In the case of Snowy Day, a boy discovers the joy of angel-making, sledding, and all the other things kids do on a free winter day.

The child of immigrants, Keats grew up in a Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, in relative poverty. Although his gifts with pencil and paint were obvious from a young age, his father, a waiter, discouraged his artistic ambitions, fearing it would be too hard for his son to make a living. When he brought home tubes of paint for Ezra, he would tell the boy that hard-up artist customers had swapped their paint for soup. When his father died, however, Keats discovered a stash of newspaper clippings: his father had carefully saved the notices of all of Ezra's artistic prizes and achievements.

Once established as a creator of children's books, Keats developed a stable of characters -- including the adventurous Peter, a shy boy named Louie, and a sympathetic girl named Amy -- who often resurfaced over the author's twenty-odd years of storymaking. Often taking place in urban settings and illustrated in Keats's hallmark gouache and collage style, the stories chronicle the discoveries, pleasures, and fears of being a kid: coping with a new sibling, befriending a previously scary blind neighbor, entering a pet show, or finding a pair of goggles.

Keats tackled the topic of single parenthood in Louie's Search, where Louie accidentally discovers a husband for his mom. Even when characters behave oddly or badly (as in the case of Louie's new dad, who initially accuses the boy of stealing from his junk truck), their innate goodness is always revealed. Each title exemplifies Keats's faith in people.

With his muted, evocative images and his commitment towards diversity, Keats made children's literature vivid and human in a way it had never been before.

Good To Know

In the late 1930s, Keats worked as a mural painter on WPA projects. He entered the Army in 1943, where he designed camouflage patterns.

Later, Keats created five greeting cards about peace for UNICEF's first greeting card season ... A million cards were sold that year.

The de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi is the sole repository for Ezra Jack Keats's archives.

A life-size bronze statue of Peter, Willie, and Peter's chair sits in Imagination Playground in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Jacob Ezra Katz (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 11, 1916
    2. Place of Birth:
      Brooklyn, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      May 6, 1983
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York

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