Okay, so I kind of cheated on this one. My coworker, Gwen M. had ordered a bunch of dining hats from iRead, the company that provides the materials for our Summer Reading Program, and she gave me all the ones she had left over. They featured cute little fruits and vegetables for the kids to color in. Hello! Easiest craft project ever.
But coincidentally, there seem to be dozens of great picture books about hats, including this year’s Caldecott Award Winner, This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen. (Oddly, Klassen has another book called I Want My Hat Back, which is strikingly similar in its well…disappearance of hat thieves. I guess Klassen really likes his hats).
Here are the ones I read tonight:
Milo’s Hat Trick by Jon Agee
I love the wacky originality of Jon Agee, especially this book, and My Rhinoceros. This one features a magician who sets out to find a rabbit for his hat trick, and instead happens upon a very talented bear.
This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
This year’s Caldecott Award winner. I’ve read it to a wide range of age groups, from toddlers to second graders. It’s always interesting to see how differently they interpret and react to the story, which is about a brazen little fish who brags about stealing a big fish’s hat. Some younger kids don’t pick up on the implied ending, but a second grader in a class I read to clearly knew where the whole thing was headed from the beginning, because he spent the whole book saying, “No! Don’t say that! The big fish is going to eat you!”
Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat by Brian Langdo
A longer story, but it held the kids’ interest, and was fun to read. A coyote entrusts Tornado Slim with a letter and a magic hat that can hold the water from a broken dam and a whole tornado.
Magritte’s Marvelous Hat by D.B. Johnson
I took a chance on this one, because the artwork is full of Magritte-style surrealism and references to his paintings. A dog painter named Magritte buys a magical hat that floats above his head and inspires him to paint better than he ever has before. The kids seemed to enjoy this one, and the parents were intrigued by the illustrations. I brought it home to share with my daughter because I think it would work even better as a one-on-one book. It has those clear plastic overlays I remember being fascinated by as a kid.
INSTRUMENT PLAY WITH A CD: This Hat by Laurie Berkner, from her Under a Shady Tree album.
CRAFT: Coloring diner hats
There are lots of wonderful hat crafts online. If I hadn’t had the paper diner hats already, I probably would have done a paper hat like this: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Paper-Hat. Given the age range of my storytime group, I think I would have made the hats ahead of time (and maybe printed out instructions for the parents in case anyone wanted to try making their own at home), then had the kids decorate them with stickers, markers and glue-on gems.
OTHER HAT STORIES:
Midway through the storytime, it hit me that I had forgotten my favorite hat book: Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slodbodkina. One of the best read-alouds for any age group. The kids always love joining in on the “TSZ! TSZ! TSZ!
Any other favorite books about hats?