The world’s most elegant milliner loses her birthday bonnet, and the whole city rushes to help.
“In a three-story house with a shop down below / lived the world’s finest hatmaker, Madame Chapeau.” Madame Chapeau spends her days making hats for everyone, but her evenings are very lonely. However, each year on her birthday, she carefully unpacks a special hat to wear out to dinner to a fancy restaurant (the brilliantly named Chez Snooty-Patoot). But this year, a crow steals her hat! A baker, a policeman, a cowboy and many others offer their own, very particular, caps to replace it, but Madame Chapeau can’t take a hat away from its perfect owner. “She knew that each hat—with its feathers or fur— / was made for someone who was simply not her.” Luckily, a small tot with lots of fuzzy yarn saves the day. With a text that can only be described as jaunty (and masterful in its inventive settings on the page), Beaty carries the bounces and lilts to the very last page. Roberts’ colorful, exaggerated hats (many of which are modeled on real designs) whimsically adorn the multicultural Parisian public. An appended artist’s note describes Roberts’ inspirations.
The underlying suggestion that no one is as alone as they believe is lovely enough, but the fun of reading this aloud elevates it even more. (Picture book. 4-7)