Uncle Foster's Hat Tree: (Puffin Easy-to-Read Series: Level Red)by Doug Cushman
Merle hears four entertaining stories about the hats on Uncle Foster's hat tree and then gets to try on the hats.
School Library JournalK-Gr 1 Merle is waiting impatiently for the rain to end when Uncle Foster entertains him with very brief anecdotes about the various hats displayed on the hat tree in the hall. The pith helmet once served as a boat to escape a crocodile; the garden hat hatched a nestful of baby birds (in the space of time it took for Uncle Foster to go to the shed for a hoe); the straw hat is a reminder of his vaudeville days and the slapstick of throwing pies; and lastly, the top hat snared a highwayman. The easy-reader format leaves these stories simplified below the level of today's television-sophisticated beginning readers. The plot premises sound good, but the stories just don't satisfy. Cushman's cartoons show cute mice with little distinctive character. Not bad, but not good. Ruth Semrau, Lovejoy School, McKinney, Tex.
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