cover image Buy My Hats!

Buy My Hats!

Dave Horowitz, Putnam, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-25275-4

Set over the course of a workweek, this lighthearted story offers a few business tips for how to succeed in the marketplace. When Frank the bear and Carl the fish fail to sell their boring, brown bowler hats, they look to nearby profitable retailers for advice. "What's your secret?" they ask Blue Monkey, a successful skateboard vendor. "Everybody likes skateboards," he answers. Mister Pig thrives because he advertises his "Cup o' Mud" all over town, while Big Ox sells "remote control robot cell phones" that are "new and exciting, man." Frank and Carl's lame attempts to compete initially fail, but Horowitz's (Duck Duck Moose) digitally colored pencil and charcoal drawings punch up his street market setting with an array of comical skateboard riding, mud drinking, cellphone–using animals (a snooty pink hippo says, "Can you hear me, Mother?" using his). The energetic design and artwork prove more compelling than the story line itself. In the end, a thunderstorm enables the entrepreneurs to advertise—and sell—their hats as "rainproof," suggesting that the key to success is luck as much as it is smarts. Ages 5–8. (June)