My Red Hat
Rachel Stubbs, Author/Illustrator
Candlewick Press, Fiction, Feb. 2, 2021
Suitable for ages: 3-7
Themes: Grandfather, Red hat, Intergenerational, Memories, Possibilities
Opening: “I give you my hat. It will keep you warm and dry or help keep you cool.”
A grandfather gives his red hat to his granddaughter, as he shares with her its many uses. The hat will keep her warm and dry. It can help her stand out in a crowd or blend in. It can hold her dreams or hide her secrets. The hat will be ready for any adventure, hold her memories, give her strength and courage and bring her back home. It will also serve as a water bowl for her dog — love the witty humor.
Sure to put a smile on any child’s face, this story is a beautiful intergenerational tale about the sweet and important role a grandparent plays in a grandchild’s life. The language is simple and the grandfather’s words are conveyed with love. I will admit I was prepared for the child’s return home with the grandfather no longer there. But the author pleasantly surprised me, making the ending even sweeter. This is a lovely bedtime read.
The whimsical illustrations are done in ink and graphite, with a pallet of gray, blue and splashes of red throughout. The simple lines convey a lot of expression and love.
Resources: Do you have a something that your grandparent gave to you? It must be something important if they want you to have it. A quilt? A favorite toy? A book? A piece of jewelry? A stamp collection? A treasure box? Does it have a special story? Talk about what it means to you. It must be something important if they want you to have it. Draw a picture of the item.
Rachel Stubbs has a master of arts in illustration from the UK’s Cambridge School of Art and is a recipient of the Sebastian Walker Award for illustration, named for the founder of children’s book publishing companies Walker Books and Candlewick Press. Rachel Stubbs makes her home in London.