What a Hat!

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Henry and Wizzie's cousin Newton is coming to visit, and they can't wait. But when Newton arrives, he won't take off his hat.

He wears it at dinnertime;

he wears it in the bathtub;

he wears it to bed.

Henry thinks Newton is being weird.

Wizzie thinks Newton needs a friend.

Acclaimed picture book creator Holly Keller turns an anxious situation into an unexpected chance for Newton to shine.

What surprises!

What generosity!

What a Hat!

Henry makes fun of his cousin Newton for always wearing his hat, but the hat comes in handy for Henry's sister Wizzie.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Keller's (Farfallina & Marcel) satisfying story introduces Henry and Wizzie, young rabbit siblings whose cousin Newton comes to visit. When Mama asks Henry to take Newton's hat and coat, the visitor refuses to relinquish the former, a striped, double-pronged, stocking cap, firmly declaring, "No hat." After eating, bathing and sleeping in his hat, the otherwise silent Newton once again says "No hat," when frisky Henry (who "thought Newton was being weird") snatches the cap from his cousin's head. Wizzie comes to Newton's rescue, retrieving the hat and returning it to him. Later, when a bully bunny knocks down the sand house that Wizzie and Newton made, and Wizzie can't stop crying, her cousin comes to her rescue, offering his beloved hat to her in consolation. Clearly comforted by the chapeau, Wizzie wears it to bed that night, after which Newton happily points to his hatless head and puts a new spin on his only utterance, announcing to Henry, "No hat." Keller's understated narrative and appealingly simple, wry watercolor-and-black-line illustrations impart significant humor and teach several lessons, including the importance of respecting a peer's quirks, sharing, being a good friend and-when the time is right-having the confidence to shed one's security "blanket." Vital messages, playfully delivered. Ages 4-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Cousin Newton, a rabbity sort of fellow, has come to visit Henry and Wizzle but he won't take his hat off. In fact, all Newton says is "No hat!" during the games Henry proposes, which finally drives Henry to ignore him. Wizzle, however, takes pity on her cousin and invites him to play in the sandbox. There, a bigger rabbit boy knocks down the tiger house the two have built, but Newton comforts Wizzle by giving her his hat. Then, Wizzle cherishes the precious hat until bedtime and the next day, the hat is no issue as it lies on the ground with Wizzle's doll and the three children now play together. The subtle message of tolerating quirkiness may be lost on some young readers, but the message that giving someone a precious gift as comfort will ring true. Keller's delightful watercolor and black line art depictions of the bunnies and their humanlike homes and playtoys lend warmth to this story of generosity. 2003, Greenwillow, Ages 4 to 7.
— Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1-A charming story about a hat and the comfort it provides. During a visit to his cousins' house, a young rabbit named Newton won't take off his knitted cap. Wizzie is willing to let it go, but Henry is determined that his cousin give up this security object, and first taunts, and then ignores his guest. In an act of empathy, Newton finally takes off his hat to comfort Wizzie, and the three characters learn valuable lessons. Young children will relate to this simply written story. Full- and half-page colorful illustrations featuring animals with expressive eyes and postures, all placed against uncluttered backgrounds, clearly depict the action in this amusing yet reassuring tale. Delightful.-Leanna Manna, Villa Maria College, Buffalo, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Henry and Wizzie are excited about having their cousin Newton visit, but they have mixed responses to his quirky behavior. Newton's answer to every request for him to take off his hat is, "No hat." He wears the striped, knit hat at dinner, in the bathtub, and even to bed. Henry alternates between force and persuasion as he tries to get Newton to remove the hat, but finally gives up and refuses to play with him. Wizzie's more gentle character shines through as she accepts Newton for who he is. She even finds that she's equally comforted by the special hat when Newton lends it to her to ease her own distress. Quiet watercolor-and-black-line illustrations of the extended bunny family are the perfect accompaniment to this story of friendship and acceptance. A somewhat bland tale, it takes Keller's art to lift it beyond making a minor point. (Picture book. 4-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060514792
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/14/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 24
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Holly Keller is the creator of many popular books for children, including the Horace books, Farfallina & Marcel, and Help! In applauding her work, School Library Journal noted that she is "an author/artist who truly understands children." Holly Keller lives in New Haven, Connecticut.

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