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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Almost Wordless

Red Hat by Lita Judge
Red Hat by Lita Judge is a frisky, cavorting read.  The child washes the red hat and leaves it to dry on the line.  A few mischievous animals decide to take the red hat for a wild frolic.  This reads and feels like a sequel to Red Sled that came out in 2011.
The illustrations for this title were rendered in pencil and watercolor. Using the familiar characters from Red Sled, the bear grabs the hat and we're off.  The hat and host of animals manage to unravel it and the child character gets this jumbled bit of red yarn left on the clothes line.  I really like the ending where the child knits the hat again and a few more pieces for the animal friends.
The only words that are printed are the sounds of fun from the animals and child.  Wordless and mostly wordless books are great to share whether with a preschooler or grade school child because they can encourage imagination and allow the child to be part of the story and add their own ideas.  Asking your child what might happen next, or what's going on is using open-ended questions to draw your child into the story.
In Red Hat, I think a parent might relate to their child, when seeing the rabbit and mouse hanging on at the end of the yarn, about the old 'crack the whip' game that they used to play.  I remember doing this outside on a summer day or at a dance in high school.  Or you might relate this to a kite flying, either way, this story will be a great conversation starter.
Check out the author/illustrator's website here.

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