cover image My Grandfather's Hat

My Grandfather's Hat

Melanie Scheller. Margaret K. McElderry Books, $13.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-0-689-50540-9

When Jason's grandfather dies, his grandmother gives him the hat his grandfather wore when they shared good times together. In a quiet, gentle tone, Jason tells of how they made matching snowmen with pickles for eyes, and how, when freshly gathered eggs broke inside the hat, the old man said, ``I guess the yolk's on me.'' At book's end, Jason practices tipping his hat and saying ``Mornin' '' as his grandfather used to and concludes that he needs to grow up before he can ``wear his grandfather's hat.'' While newcomer Scheller has created likable characters, her first-person narrative often seems too sophisticated for the voice of a child. Narahashi ( Who Said Red? ; Who Wants One? ) deviates from her familiar style and artfully mimics the pencil drawings of children, subtly suggesting the emotional bond Jason shares with his grandfather. Nonetheless, her scumbled, thoughtful drawings do not mitigate the slightly therapeutic tone of this message book about how memories can aid those dealing with grief. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)