RED HAT by Lita Judge
Kirkus Star


by ; illustrated by
Age Range: 2 - 7
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One red hat plus a troop of enthusiastic animals equals trouble!

Young fans will love reading and rereading this nearly wordless continuation of the adventure of the hat from Judge’s marvelous winter tale, Red Sled (2011). It’s spring-cleaning time now, so the child washes the red hat and hangs it out to dry. Yellow flowers are blooming, little bunnies are hopping, butterflies are flittering, and the sun is shining. When the critters spy the hat pinned to the line, the cub speaks for everyone: “Hrmmm?” At first, an energetic game of keep-away breaks out, with the accompanying sounds and exclamations of pursuit and merriment. Readers will feel the thrill of the game until the illustrations show that things might have gotten out of control. The expressive words—Whoa, shwooop, eeeeeeeeeeeeep—become Wut-whoa and Uhmm-mrr, signaling the animals’ realization that the hat is now just one long red strand of yarn with a white pompom on the end. Readers will laugh out loud at the caption when the guilty animals shuffle away from the clothesline, whistling innocently: “Doot-do-doo.” Luckily, the little child is a clever one, able to make everything better than before. The watercolor-and-pencil illustrations are deceptively simple and strike the perfect chord of energy and emotion that is the definition of a curious and accidentally naughty preschooler.

Crossing fingers for more seasonal “red” tales. (Picture book. 2-7)

Pub Date: March 5th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4424-4232-0
Page count: 40pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2013


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