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BUY MY HATS! by Dave Horowitz


by Dave Horowitz & illustrated by Dave Horowitz

Age Range: 5 - 8

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-399-25275-4
Publisher: Putnam

Horowitz goes out on a limb with his title here, for visions of Esphyr Slobodkina’s folky absurdity, Caps for Sale, will immediately dance into readers’ heads. Hats aside, those are big shoes to fill. Horowitz sidesteps the issue. This is no cockamamie encounter with a tree full of monkeys, but rather a business lesson set in a small-town American street market. Frank, a roly-poly bear, and Carl, a fish that looks like it might be related to Peter Lorre, are a couple of unsuccessful hat sellers. Around them at the market, skateboards, cups of hot coffee and cell phones are moving at a brisk pace. Advice is dispensed: Sell something popular, something cutting edge; try advertising. Then circumstance intervenes in the shape of raindrops, and hat sales skyrocket. Horowitz’s visual narrative is big-hearted and populated by legions of amusing, curious characters, but the story is limp. Stacks of bowler hats need something special to make them interesting, and neither Frank nor Carl knows how to invest their product with personality. As soon as the sun comes out, you know the hats will once again be as popular as three-day-old fish. (Picture book. 5-8)