CM . . .
. Volume XXIII Number 3. . . .September 23, 2016
This short book for will ring true for parents who have tried to put (and keep!) a hat on their toddler. The story follows the familiar, and often maddening, process of getting a child dressed in warm clothes and out the door. In this case, a young boy is aided by his sister as he chooses from among a basket full of hats to wear as he heads to the park on a windy fall day. When the boy is diverted by a number of things, including a trip to the potty and a forgotten toy, numerous hats get put on and promptly taken off again.
The simple and repetitive language used throughout the book works well for children who are just learning to speak and often have a limited vocabulary. “Hat” is undoubtedly one of the first words a Canadian child will learn, and Hat On, Hat Off serves to reinforce that. Parents and children will enjoy going through the story demonstrating when the hat goes on and off.
The illustrations are done in a muted colour palette that frequently take up the entire page. In addition to showcasing a wide variety of hats, they also feature easily identifiable images, such as cars, flowers, and toys, which many young children will be able to name aloud. The illustrations do a great job of giving visual cues for children to follow along with.
Overall, Hat On, Hat Off is a lovely little book for young children and parents, all of whom will identify with the story. The simple language and straightforward illustrations aid in the ability for young children just learning to speak to interact with the book.
Mê-Linh Lê is a librarian at the University of Manitoba. She spends a lot of time negotiating “How many books?” with her two young sons.
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