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REMBRANDT’S HAT by Susan Blackaby


by Susan Blackaby & illustrated by Mary Newell DePalma

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: March 25th, 2002
ISBN: 0-618-11452-1
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Many of Rembrandt’s portraits show the subject in a fine hat, the inspiration for this charming tale of a teddy bear searching for the perfect hat. In her first published work, Blackaby hits a high note with her opening line: “On what began as a fine day, a bear named Rembrandt lost his hat.” He meets a clown and three animals as he searches for a replacement, visiting a hat shop and trying on “17 different hats in 11 different colors” in a delightful double-page spread that will thrill hat aficionados. At last Rembrandt finds a baseball cap at the Rockets souvenir stand, so his new hat conveniently has an R monogram on the front. DePalma (The Strange Egg, 2001, etc.) has created a memorable bear with hyacinth-blue eyes and a matching vest, always accompanied by his tiny frog friend, who is often tucked into the pocket of the vest. Her mixed-media illustrations have a distinctive style with cool colors and a French flavor, incorporating tiny snippets of newspaper and maps into the art in creative ways. Rembrandt is ready to step into story hours with themes of hats or bears, and his story offers lots of possibilities for extensions into drama or art. (Picture book. 4-8)