Twelve Hats for Lena: A Book of Months

Overview

Can you
make a
hat
for each
month
of the year?

Lena Katz creates hats appropriate for each month of the year.

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Overview

Can you
make a
hat
for each
month
of the year?

Lena Katz creates hats appropriate for each month of the year.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Young Lena, a fan of fancy headwear, enthusiastically embarks on an arts-and-crafts project to create a hat for each month of the year. She pastes and decorates her various chapeaux with representations of what makes each month so great. January s stocking cap has a snow theme, depicting snowmen, a sled and a mug of cocoa; December, with its jam-packed holiday docket, poses the biggest challenge and results in the biggest hat of all, rendered here on a vertical gatefold. Katz s (Counting Kisses) mixed-media artwork, primarily a combination of gouache and collage, has a kicky brightness that refreshes such traditional subjects as valentines, a spring flower garden, American flags, etc. Unfortunately, the presentation is muddled. The minimal rhyming text, with no more than a few lines per spread, seems aimed at very young readers (August is the month to collect sand in our pails), but assumes a familiarity with the names of and symbols associated with seasonal celebrations. For example, her description March winds swirl and we hear robins sing doesn t refer to Saint Patrick s Day, yet Lena s hat is a green tribute to shamrocks and pots of gold. The relatively complex instructions for making poster-board hats that appear at book s end, on the other hand, suggest an older audience, but children capable of attempting the paper millinery on their own will likely be turned off by the overly simplistic story. Ages 3-8. (Sept.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-With scissors and glue in hand, a rosy-cheeked youngster prepares to create a year's worth of headgear: "She imagines what makes each month so great/and begins to paste and decorate." For January, Lena embellishes an ice-blue wool cap with snowmen, pinecones, and other winter icons, and for February, she designs a heart-shaped bonnet replete with flowers, bows, and cupids. She celebrates June with a luscious cake-shaped topper for her birthday, makes a fancy bathing cap for August, and assembles a back-to-school extravaganza for September. December poses a problem, as Lena can't decide among Hanukkah dreidels, Kwanzaa fruit, or Christmas tree trimmings. She solves the dilemma with an evergreen-shaped headpiece decorated with all of those items and more, an elaborate "holiday hat for everyone" so large that it requires a fold-up page to display it. Rendered in collage, gouache, and colored pencils, the illustrations are bright and inviting. On each spread, the name of the month appears in large letters on the left-hand side, with a close-up of Lena wearing the corresponding hat on the right. Although the pictures are packed with interesting seasonal objects, clean lines and solid pastel backgrounds keep the artwork from appearing too busy. Easy-to-follow directions for making hats are included. With its rhyming text and large pictures, this book makes a great choice for group sharing and is just right for launching a discussion about the calendar or as a jumping-off point for a craft program.-Joy Fleishhacker, formerly at School Library Journal Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
In a broad, simple, Anne Rockwell-like manner, Katz (Excuse Me!, not reviewed, etc.) poses a child peering out delightedly from beneath 12 big hats, each decorated with an array of iconic items. Captioned by a line or two of rhymed text, each hat evokes a month: January's bristles with snowmen and winter gear, March's, with shamrocks and a sheaf of crocuses, and so on, until December's holiday theme requires such an assemblage of symbols that Lena's hat spills onto a fold-up flap. A page of much-simplified hat-making directions closes this colorful fashion parade. Culturally inclusive the headwear is not, but its exuberant hues, its easily identifiable decorations, and the bright, merry eyes beneath each brim are bound to gain a coterie of young fans, besides serving as a springboard to an ongoing craft project that an adult and child can share. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780689848735
  • Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 34
  • Sales rank: 630,171
  • Age range: 3 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Katz

Karen Katz has written and illustrated more than fifty picture books and novelty books including the bestselling Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? After graduating from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, she attended the Yale Graduate School of Art and Architecture where she became interested in folk art, Indian miniatures, Shaker art, and Mexican art. Her book, Counting Kisses, was named one of the 100 Greatest Books for Kids by Scholastic Parent & Child and was a Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. Karen, her husband Gary Richards, and their daughter Lena divide their time between New York City and Saugerties, New York. Learn more about Karen Katz at KarenKatz.com.

Karen Katz has written and illustrated more than fifty picture books and novelty books including the bestselling Where Is Baby’s Belly Button? After graduating from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, she attended the Yale Graduate School of Art and Architecture where she became interested in folk art, Indian miniatures, Shaker art, and Mexican art. Her book, Counting Kisses, was named one of the 100 Greatest Books for Kids by Scholastic Parent & Child and was a Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. Karen, her husband Gary Richards, and their daughter Lena divide their time between New York City and Saugerties, New York. Learn more about Karen Katz at KarenKatz.com.

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    1. Education:
      Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia; Yale Graduate School of Art and Architecture
    2. Website:

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