Millie's Marvellous Hat
Author: Satoshi Kitamura
Illustrator: Satoshi Kitamura
Source: Local Library
One day, Millie sees a beautiful hat in a store window. She tries to buy it, but the price is a little beyond her means. The storekeeper has another one, which she can well afford (free), and this hat is even better, because it can be anything that Millie wants it to be! Feathered? No problem. Flowered? Sure! Built out of cakes? Naturellement!
Then she realizes that anyone can have the same hat she does. All it takes is a little style, and a lot of imagination.
This is a book that takes imagination and playing pretend seriously. The hat store man is my favorite, as he instigates the hat game without a breath of condescension and allows Millie to pay him everything in her empty purse for the privilege of wearing her marvelous hat out of the store.
Possibly the most fun is perusing the two spreads that take place in the park, where everyone is wearing a hat especially suited to their personality. Two pregnant women walk along with a full bird's nest and a kangaroo with joey, respectively. A very important man struts along with a very important statue on his head. Kids will have a lot of fun guessing the personalities of the people based on their hats, and also imagining what their own marvelous hat might look like. (Hop on over to the review at Bookie Woogie to see how three artistic kids answered this question!)
It's a little long for the youngest storytimes, but try this out with preschool or older, especially if you're reading one-on-one and can discuss the lovely illustrations.