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Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Mystery Hat, written by Rune Brandt Bennicke & Jakob Hjort Jensen, with pictures by Jakob Hjort Jensen. Sky Pony Press, Thomas Allen & Son. 2014. $19.95 ages 3 and up

"He probably woke up
early from his winter's
sleep with his tummy
rumbling and bumbling
from hunger, so he
hurried out to find
something to eat.
Seeing as he was
still quite sleepy,
he must not have
seen the hole..."

Well, we definitely got our first snowstorm of the season on Friday. Today, the streets are lumpy and bumpy, parking lots have huge piles of the white stuff, and it is a tough slog to make it on foot through the snow on the ground. It's too cold for snowmen; it isn't too cold to be dreaming of building one. We might have to wait for it to warm up a lot.

This seems the perfect book to read on the first day back to school after a long Christmas break!

When three friends decide to go for a walk in the woods, they have no idea that they might soon be faced with a mystery. There, on the path right in front of them, is a sodden knit cap. Crow recognizes it and thinks it belongs to their friend Bear.

Together the three imagine scenarios that might have taken place for the hat to be there. Perhaps Bear was so consumed by hunger after his long winter's sleep that he didn't see the water-filled hole in the road ... and he fell right into it! Turns out the deep hole filled with water is only a shallow puddle.

As they stand and consider other things that might have befallen anyone owning a red knit cap, readers will have occasion to laugh at the absurdity of their conjectures. Finally, Pig thinks back on a snowball fight from a few days ago. He remembers what happened during their play. In doing so,  Crow is reminded why the hat seems so familiar to him!

The artwork matches the text with expressive looks and imagined adventures, leaving readers in the end with a terrific little sign to warn future walkers.

Amusing and full of charm, your listeners will enjoy everything about this book!


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