When bumbling Douglas wrecks a gift, what can he do?
Dad gives Douglas, a big brown bear, a woolly hat. He can't wait to show his friends. As he's rushing out the door, Dad calls out, "Take care of it." There is a flock of sheep incongruously lazing on a tree branch; they think the hat is "snazzy." (Melling's sheep, who resemble little brown dogs wearing tan hooded sweatshirts, appear randomly throughout, as page fillers.) Douglas dances all around and cartwheels with excitement, blithely unaware that his hat has become snagged on a tree. When he stops, all that remains is a thin band around his head and a long string of spaghetti crisscrossing several branches. It's ruined! The other animals pitch in to help. The sheep try to reshape the string on Douglas's head, and the wise cow fashions it into a headband (though a grabby bird snatches it temporarily for her nest). Douglas becomes more and more distraught. Then it starts to rain. It's rabbit who takes time to wipe Douglas's nose and set him straight: "Dad will understand," he says. And of course when Douglas tells Dad, he does. He even gives Douglas his own hat to wear. Bonus: a two-page spread of sheep and rabbit goofily modeling a bunch of different hats.
Simple and sweet, with a winning streak of silly. (Picture book. 3-6)