Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Hat On, Hat Off

Publish April 25, 2017

In Hat On, Hat Off, Toronto author and librarian Theo Heras humourously captures the complexities of getting a toddler dressed and ready to go outside. An impish, tousle-haired child makes his own selection from a basket of hats, but the brown bear bonnet of choice doesn’t stay on his head for very long. By the time big sister ties his shoe laces, the hat is off. She puts on his jacket (“One sleeve, two sleeves / Button up”), and pulls a striped cap over his forehead. This chapeau is also quickly doffed. Before heading out the door, ever-patient sis rounds up her young charge’s required accoutrements, like sippy cup, plastic pail and shovel. When the tot is finally in the stroller, he sports a green, pom-pom froggy hat, but there are plenty more hat tricks in store for the siblings as they make their way to the park.

Renné Benoit’s softly hued, realistic watercolour illustrations extend Theo Heras’s simple, conversational text. Subtle swatches of knitting patterns appear in background details. The little boy’s stuffed pal Bunny also wears a hat, brightly decorated with a carrot novelty print. The book’s design is very appealing to little hands, with a soft padded cover, and rounded corners. Infinitely relatable, Hat On, Hat Off is a warm, slice-of-life adventure that is perfect for sharing.

Linda Ludke
Linda Ludke

Linda Ludke is a librarian at London Public Library.  Her reviews have appeared in Quill and QuireSchool Library Journal and CM:  Canadian Review of Materials.  When she’s not reading and writing she also loves searching for vintage treasures.

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