Hats! Hats! Hats!

IMG_1664Hats are a big deal around my house. I’m not sure why. But they happen to be all over the house and often times on my head. And Walker’s. And Electra’s. It’s all old hat to me. But Electra is new to this hat wearing fetish of the Mom Person and I have to admit that she is a pretty good sport about it.

Well the hats all came out recently because of a book. I guess books are usually the cause of hats coming out. You can look at most any of my posts and see what I mean. But this particular book is all about hats. And love. And friends. And creativity.

IMG_1615Happy Birthday
Madame Chapeau
by Andrea Beaty
with pictures by David Roberts
published by Abrams Books for Young Readers in 2014

It begins –
In a three-story house with a shop down below
lived the world’s finest hatmaker, Madame Chapeau.

Madame Chapeau is a very sad, lonely lady. She makes incredibly fancy hats for incredibly fancy people, then she dines all alone. Across from her on her table are lots of pictures of a gentleman who I suppose was once her beau. A Beau for Madame Chapeau! But he seems to no longer be around. So the lady is sad.

IMG_1618But every year on her birthday, she dresses up and puts on a special heart shaped hat and goes out to dine at a fancy restaurant. On this particular birthday event, a passing crow flies off with her hat! Her VERY SPECIAL hat! Made especially for her! As she chases after the crow, lots of gentlemen offer her their hats! But their hats are made just for them – not for her! Indeed, each man’s head is shaped exactly like his hat! Funny!!!

As she dines alone without her special hat, she is soooooo sad! But wait! There comes a little girl who has been following Madame Chapeau all through the book, and the little girl has a special birthday present for the hatmaker. The little girl has knitted a hat especially for Madame Chapeau! The best present ever!!!! The best hat ever!!!! So they become best friends and live happily ever after!

The creator of Madame Chapeau, Ms Beaty, was at the recent Texas Book Festival. The Mom Person got to hear her read the book and talk about it. Ms Beaty and the illustrator, Mr Roberts, are especially good friends. Ms Beaty wrote this story just for Mr Roberts because he once was a milliner! (That’s a fancy word for a hatmaker!) So they worked together on the book and there are lots of little special things in the illustrations that nobody knows about. Little secrets between the two of them. All of the hats in the book are real hats that were made by famous milliners. Some of them are from hats that Mr Roberts designed and made himself.

This is a really lovely book. The story is jaunty and poetic. Ms Beaty is quite a fantastic rhymer! And Mr Roberts’s illustrations and hats are quite divine!

This book has been reviewed and talked about quite a lot since it came out. You might want to see what these fine folks have to say about it —-

Julie Rowan-Zochhttps://julierowanzoch.wordpress.com/2014/10/10/ppbf-happy-birthday-madame-chapeau/

Danielle at This Picture Book Lifehttp://thispicturebooklife.com/happy-birthday-madame-chapeau-hats/

Zoe at Playing by the Bookhttp://www.playingbythebook.net/2014/10/30/hat-week-happy-birthday-madame-chapeau-and-david-roberts-previous-life-as-a-milliner/

All of these ladies have provided a plethora of fun activities to go with this book – check them out!!!

And you might want to try some Hat Juggling!

IMG_1671So, Happy Hat Day to you all!
your library friend Rhythm, and my friends
Electra and Walker
Copy of img311

 

Counting Sheep

sheep 2I’ve gone to the sheep today. We don’t have sheep here at the 7 Acre Wood. We have goats. I don’t know a lot about sheep. They look like goats to me. But I hear that they are very different. I hear that goats are smarter than sheep. I don’t really know.

But we read a couple of pretty cute books about sheep that I would like to share.

IMG_1060Hide and Sheep was written by Andrea Beaty and illustrated by Bill Mayer. It was published by Margaret K. McElderry Books in 2011. It is a counting book. I like counting books. On the back of the book it says “They’re baa baa BAAD!”  And these are bad sheep.  It’s time for Farmer McFitt to shear the sheep and knit clothes. But the sheep have disappeared! They’re on the run and I guess that Farmer McFitt is in hot pursuit. It is not entirely clear. In the 1st page spread 10 frisky lambs have run away to the zoo. And on the next page spread 9 sheep have joined the circus. So I guess that Farmer McFitt caught one. It is not entirely clear. But on each page spread there is a new scenario with one less sheep. Until the end where they have all been sheared and their clothes knit and it’s time to stop counting sheep and go to bed!

IMG_1062Sheep in a Jeep is a book that has been around for a long time and is a favorite at school. It was written by Nancy Shaw and illustrated by Margot Apple. It was published by Houghton Mifflin Company in 1986. Ms Shaw has created quite a series of books with her sheep. I’ve not read all of them but I would bet that they are all great books. These sheep are nothing but well-meaning, fun-loving trouble. They go for a ride in a jeep, but aren’t very good drivers. They can’t get it to go, so they push it down a hill where it gets stuck in a giant mud hole. Some pigs help them push it out, then they forget to steer and crash into a tree. The sheep are quite silly and fun. But the text is the thing. Lots of rhyme and alliteration. Sheep shouting and shrugging and weeping. Jeeps in a heap. It’s great!

Both of these books show sheep in a not so intelligent light. And they sound just like my silly goats at home. Just trouble. Both books are worth checking out. I think I like the Sheep in a Jeep the best. I was not really happy with the illustrations in Hide and Sheep. The cover is really cute and I had high expectations, but the pictures on the inside were kind of weird. Kind of blurry or something. I don’t know, but they were not really pleasant to look at.

I hope you’ve had a trouble free day! Stay away from sheep! Trouble!

And for your amazement — some extreme sheep herding!