________________ CM . . . . Volume VIII Number 16 . . . . April 12, 2002

cover Baby Steve: The Hat That Went Around the World.

Richard Hill. Illustrated by Doreen Satterfield.
Victoria, BC: Umberto Press (Box 42086, 2200 Oak Bay Ave, V8R 6T4), 2000.
55 pp., pbk., $14.99.
ISBN 0-9685247-8-8.

Subject Headings:
Hats-Juvenile poetry.
Children's poetry, Canadian (English).

Preschool-grade 1 / Ages 4-6.

Review by Linda Ludke.

* /4

excerpt:

"So it had come,
his lucky day,
Atop a head,
he was on his way.

A gust of wind came up, and then,
Carried off our little friend.
He made a wish while on his ride,
To see the world, all big and wide."

In this awkward and silly story, a baseball cap yearns to find an answer to his question, "What is the world?" A gust of wind blows Baby Steve around the globe, allowing him to visit many different lands. Baby Steve is confused by the comments the various animals make: dolphins tell him the world is wet; birds declare the world is green; and camels say the world is flat. After several more encounters, Baby Steve comes to the conclusion that "The world is all different, yet the world is the same, The world is so many things, under one name."

     The sing-song rhymes are strained, often relying on cliches such as "Don't you know" and "Now that is that" to finish the couplet. You won't find any rich imagery or playful use of language in the verse either. The word choice is strictly functional: "Someone else found him, he sat on their head."

     Satterfield's simple pen and watercolor sketches depict the baseball cap with wide eyes and a big smile. The animals also share the same anthropomorphized cartoon grin. The page layout and design is also lacking in artfulness. The text seems slotted in to fit around the illustrations, regardless of line breaks.

     Neither the lackluster text nor the flat illustrations will hold the interest of children.

Not recommended.

Linda Ludke is a librarian in London, ON.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364

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