ZARA’S HATS by Paul  Meisel


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 8
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For his first effort at creating the story as well as the illustrations, Meisel (Energy Makes Things Happen, Jan. 2003, etc.) pays homage to his family history by using the names and occupation of his own great-grandparents and grandmother. Zara is a little girl living in New York City in the early 1900s, happily assisting her father, Selig, in his profession as a hat maker. When Selig leaves on a world-wide search for more feathers to decorate his hats, the hat shop window is left empty until little Zara begins decorating hats with unique creative flair. Her hats are a hit, and Zara becomes the shop’s designer, even providing a clever chapeau for the president’s wife in a satisfying conclusion with a little historical joke (a hat with a teddy bear on top for Teddy Roosevelt’s wife, Edith). Meisel’s cheerful, busy watercolor-and-ink illustrations are framed in stylish lavender and convey an elegant, idealized New York City, with pleasant customers of all races, clean-swept streets and sidewalks, and tidy shops. Young listeners will be amused by little Zara’s amazing assortment of hats and by the way she solves her family’s financial dilemma with her imagination and creative talent. Zara’s story will be a perfect fit for hat-themed story hours. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-525-45465-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 2003


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