Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Scandinavian Influence: The Hat by Jan Brett

The title of this book isn't exactly exciting but once you open The Hat (Penguin Young Reader Group, Sept 2002) you will be drawn in to this sweet story by Jan Brett's beautiful illustrations. Like many of her other books, The Hat features unique borders on each page that give clues as to what happens next. When we first read this story we didn't notice the borders as there was already so much happening in the story. My eldest daughter discovered them the second time round and she loves pointing out all the different things happening in them beyond the main illustrations in the book.

This is a story about Hedgie the hedgehog. Hedgie discovers a sock on the ground that has blown off a nearby clothesline. He decides to investigate it but soon finds the sock stuck on his head. One by one the other animals on the farm make fun of Hedgie but secretly envy his warm woolens. Soon there are no longer any clothes left on the clothesline and each of the other animals is wearing a new 'hat'. Hedgie, who has finally managed to remove the sock from his head, laughs to himself at how silly the other farm animals look.

If you like this one, check out The Mitten, also by Jan Brett and her Christmas Treasury, one of our favourites at Christmastime. These books almost make me want to curl up in front of a fire with a mug of hot chocolate. I said, *almost*.


  1. A hedgehog is Brett's favorite and you'll find him in every book, on every spread so make sure to look for him. Plus, the book is good for pointing out foreshadowing (picture on the right page) and learning about single and double page spreads. (Sorry for the book lesson...my mom is a reading teacher and some of it rubbed off on me.)

  2. As a volunteer Kindergarten Reader I enjoy reading this wonderful story to the fascinated youngsters. To their great joy the foreshadowing in the right margin gives them a clue as to what will be included next. The top illustration and the illustration in the left margin answers their questions about the ongoing storyline. They really enjoy this story! What a great book!