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A delightfully original companion book to Jan Brett's bestseller The Mitten.
When Lisa's woolen stocking flies off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and pokes his nose in. He tries to pull it out, but the stocking gets stuck on his prickles -- and the fun begins.
A mother hen comes by, then a noisy goose, a talkative barn cat, a playful farm dog, a mama pig and her piglets, and a pony. They all laugh at Hedgie, especially when he pretends he's wearing a new hat. But in the end, it is clever Hedgie who has the last laugh.
And where is Lisa when all of this is going on? She's in Jan Brett's signature borders, getting ready for winter, until she realizes her stocking is missing and she enters the story to look for it.
Luminous paintings of a Scandinavian farm and the forest around it are bathed in northern light, as the snow begins to fall and the adventure unfolds.
About the Author
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."
As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."
Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."
Read an Excerpt
By Jan Brett
Putnam Publishing GroupCopyright © 1997 Jan Brett
All right reserved.
Chapter OneWinter was coming. Lisa took out her warm clothes.
She was hanging them up when the wind blew away one of her socks.
Hedgie found it, poked his nose in and got stuck. Oh no! he thought. I'll never get this off.
"Cackle, cackle," the mother hen said. "What's that thing on your head, Hedgie?"
"Why, it's my new hat," he sniffed. "Oh," said the mother hen. And off she ran.
"Honk! Honk! Ho, ho," the gander laughed. "Laugh, Gander. But when it rains, my hat will keep me dry."
Hmmm, the gander thought. And off he ran.
"Meow," the barn cat called down. "You look funny today, Hedgie." "Maybe, but I will be warm in the snow." "Ah ha ..." purred the cat. And off he ran.
"Is that you in a hat, Hedgie?" the farm dog barked.
"Why not? It's very cozy," he said.
Her ears perked up. "Woof! Woof!" And off she ran.
"Oink! Oink!" the mama pig squeled. "What are you up to, Hedgie?"
"Making sure my hat doesn't blow off." "I see," said the mama pig. And off she ran.
"You look ridiculous, Hedgie!" the pony snorted.
"Why? Shouldn't everyone wear a hat in the ice and snow?"
Good idea! the pony thought. And off he ran.
Hedgie just wanted to be alone.
Everyone was laughing at him with this thing on his head.
Even Lisa was running after him. "Stop!" She wanted her sock back.
"Oh, no," Hedgie said. "Now the girl is laughing at me too!"
Excerpted from The Hat by Jan Brett Copyright © 1997 by Jan Brett. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Before the live bn.com chat, Jan Brett agreed to answer some of our questions:Q: What was it like painting at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House?
A: It was a great sense of history to be there, and it makes you feel like you are in touch with children who might not normally be reading children's books. I met a lot of children who had never met an illustrator before. A lot of kids would come by my easel, and they would see me painting on it. It was great for them to see how much time and thought that it takes to draw. I think they could sense how happy I am when I do it. Just like Tom Sawyer painting his fence.
Q: What type of artistic or literary research did you do for The Hat?
A: I went to Denmark and spent ten days there. During the ten days, we stayed in a 400-year-old inn with a thatched roof and a lot of the animals that appear in the book. We stayed on the island of Fuenan, the middle island of Denmark. The light was also beautiful. I didn't use any black in the book -- all the dark colors are a mixture. Going to a place gives you details that you might not ever imagine.
Q: What are a few of your favorite museums?
A: The Louvre in Paris. It is so amazing that I would say that I haven't accepted it mentally. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is also one of my personal favorites. I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as almost a second home, having gone to art school there; we had a free pass, and I went there all the time. A folk museum in Oslo, Norway -- it had a collection of carved sleighs that brought me to my knees. These sleighs were beautiful. Another time I was moved was in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. There were these horse sculptures discovered at the bottom of the ocean -- they were just found in the '20s. Another personal favorite is in Bad Tölz, Germany, which is where I found the cart for Berlioz the Bear.
Q: Who would you list as your artistic influences? What about literary influences?
A: Beatrix Potter is definitely one. Her books were some of the few books that I read and felt like I wasn't being talked down to. She put some difficult words that I never knew in her books, but in the context, I understood them. She valued the reader, and I felt like I had a new word that I learned. I loved to collect new words when I was a child, and Potter made this possible.
Q: At what point did you realize that you wanted to illustrate and write children's books?
A: I know that I was about six, but I don't know if it was because I was drawing all the time or because I was practicing it all the time and people kept on telling me that I should draw for children's books.... What I drew looked like it came from a children's book: With a children's book there is always a before and an after. Of course, at the time, I thought I didn't have to study, which was a big mistake. I have done a lot of traveling, which I have used to make up for a lot of lost time.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Love all of Jan Brett's books no matter what. Kids love them too. My niece is a 1st grade school teacher and she says Jan Brett is one of her favorite authors.
A very charming and heartwarming book. "The Hat" is an engaging and humorous little story that children like to follow along with. Just the job if you're looking for a few cozy minutes before a nap.
i love it! its so funny i like when hegie wears the sock and my teacher read it to my class when my teacher read it in school she made some funny voices.
In this story you will see Lisa getting ready for winter by taking her clothes out of the chest. She hangs them up outside on a clothesline only to find out she lost her stocking. Hedgie poked his nose inside the stocking and his prickles stuck to it! The other animals on the farm see Hedgie and start making fun of him. At the end of the story the other animals find Lisa¿s clothes and wear them as hats also! You would like this story because it has a silly ending. We like the characters and the pictures are beautiful. Read this story because it would make you happy!
This is a fun book to share with preschoolers. They think the illustrations are very silly! It is a great way to talk about being different.
Jan, Brett. The Hat Illustrated by an anonymous artist. G.P Putman¿s Sons 1997 I.S.B.N. 0-399-23101-3 The Hat, written by Jan Brett, illustrated by an anonymous artist, and printed in 1997, will fascinate young readers of ages seven through ten. This book teaches readers that they need to think twice before making fun of somebody. In the book, a little hedgehog named Hedgie accidentally finds himself in the most peculiar situation. The other animals where he lives makes fun of Hedgie. Ironically they actually end up imitating him. This is an excellent book because it is entertaining to see how the animals want to be just like Hedgie. It is also a lesson in kindness because it shows how people and animals feel when laughed at. If you are fond of animals, you will be interested from the beginning of the book because there are animals on the cover. If you enjoy this book, you should definitely read The Mitten, also written by Jan Brett.
This book is so beautifully illustrated that every time you read it you will discover something new. Kids really love the way the story unfolds and love to read it over and over. A very simple story without violence or being too cutesy. Highly recommended for ages 2-4 and for young readers as well!
I continue to purchase these books for my grandchildren now. They are delightful both in text and illustration-so much going on! I am Scandinavian besides so her books are a win-win!!!