Millie’s Marvelous Hat

Millie’s Marvelous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura

When Millie spots the hat with the colorful feathers in a shop window, she stops in to try it on.  But when she decides to buy it, it turns out to much too expensive.  After all, she is looking for a free hat.  The gentleman at the store thinks a bit and then comes up with a hat that can be anything that Millie wishes it to be, all it takes is a little imagination.  Millie imagines a peacock hat, with the gorgeous tail.  She passes a bakery and the hat turns into a cake hat.  A flower shop turns it flowery.  The park turns it into a fountain hat!  Then she realizes that everyone she passes has their own special hat if she only looks for it.

The exuberance of this book is great fun.  Kitamura takes great pleasure in creating different sorts of hats and bringing them to stunning realization.  Kitamura’s art is whimsical and very friendly.  His story is filled with imagination and a sense of fun.  The book is sure to get everyone thinking about what their own personal hat would look like. 

Mine?  Oh, my hat changes of course, but right now it is autumn leaves that blow about with gusts of wind that catch in the hair of people I pass by.  What about you?

Crafty teachers and librarians will be able to create hat crafts to go with this book. It will pair nicely with other hat books like Caps for Sale.  Appropriate for ages 3-6.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.  The copy will be placed in library collection.

Oliver at the Window

Oliver at the Window by Elizabeth Shreeve, illustrated by Candice Hartsough McDonald

Not only have Oliver’s parents separated, but he has started preschool.  He spends most of the day hugging his stuffed lion and looking out the window watching for one of his parents to come and take him home.  But home isn’t the same either.  He is never quite sure which house he is going to that night.  As the days pass, Oliver gets more involved in his class, painting his mother’s house and drawing his father’s.  By the end of the book, he is able to help a new little girl who is standing by the window and crying.

Shreeve sets a delicate tone with this book that manages to tackle very serious issues without bogging down into didacticism.  In just a few short pages, Oliver experiences real, tangible and believable growth as he works through the changes in his life.  McDonald’s color pencil art is simple and almost child-like.  Both artist and author use Oliver’s lion as a symbol of his growth to great effect. 

Recommended for any child going through changes in their life.  This is a book filled with hope and ringing with honesty.  Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.  Book will be placed in library collection.