Man and His Hat

Letitia Parr, Author Philomel Books $13.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-22255-9
Parr's simple verse concerns an old man's search for his beloved shabby hat. Illustrated with photographed clay figures, this picture book deserves applause for its unusual approach. The clay animation achieves a surprising wealth of detail and color--delicately blooming roses, an overflowing bag of fresh fruit, a bedroom complete with shawl, scarf and teddy bear. Unfortunately, the crabby old man and his gentle wife are rather unattractive (particularly when the man smiles ``discreetly''), and the orange and pink decor is insipid. Similarly, while simplicity and rhythm make Parr's verse ideal for chanting out loud, her language and ideas are rather limited. The cat (who sits on the hat), with his solid charm, is the book's saving grace, and children will turn most often to pages where he appears. Ages 3-7. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
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