AUNT LUCY WENT TO BUY A HAT

Alice Low, Author, Laura Huliska-Beith, Illustrator , illus. by Laura Huliska-Beith. HarperCollins $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-008971-9

Ditzy Aunt Lucy thinks she has lost her summery blue hat, even though it dangles down her back by its purple-ribbon ties. As the hat slips loose, Huliska-Beith (The Recess Queen ) introduces a helpful red bird, who attempts to return it. But the spacey Aunt strides off in search of "a hat wide brimmed/ and trimmed with lace/ to keep the sunshine/ off her face." Instead, she gets something that rhymes with it: a cat. For her new pet, the woman shops for "some milk ./ .../ Milk in a cup/ for lapping up.../ Instead she bought red silk ." Silk needs "thread," so she buys a "bed," and so on. Meanwhile, the red bird waves the original chapeau in Aunt Lucy's general direction, and a gust of wind delivers the hat to the pet black cat; regrettably, the attentive bird disappears from the story and the cat takes all the credit. Huliska-Beith characterizes Aunt Lucy as a gangly, retro-chic woman with a swooshy beehive hairdo, oversize plastic glasses, an A-line sixties dress and pointy mules. Low (The Witch Who Was Afraid of Witches ) plays with sound-alike words and emphasizes the protagonist's hyper-distractible personality. In the end, even the impulse purchases come in handy (Aunt Lucy and her cat take a nap on the new bed), and the stylish swoops of paint and skewed paper collages capture this book's benign carelessness. The content is as airy as Aunt Lucy herself, but the rhyming game provides a pleasing diversion. Ages 3-8. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/23/2004
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 1 pages - 978-0-06-008972-6
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