cover image The Sunhat

The Sunhat

Jennifer Ward, illus. by Stephanie Roth Sisson. Rio Nuevo/Rio Chico, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-933855-78-3

Ward and Sisson transplant the wintry folktale of “The Mitten” to a warmer climate in this desert-themed retelling. Instead of cramming themselves into a red mitten for warmth, eight desert animals take shelter from a storm underneath a floppy red sunhat that blew away from a schoolgirl named Rosa. In prose that occasionally takes on the rhythms of verse, Ward (There Was an Old Pirate Who Swallowed a Fish) plays with alliteration and rhyme as the animals (which include a mouse, jackrabbit, and family of quail) scurry for cover: “Rain was whipping. Fox was dripping. Move over, mouse. Share, hare.” Sisson’s (Thank You, Miss Doover) smudgy, mixed-media desert scenes teem with plant and animal life and the excitement of a summer storm, and Rosa and the animals exude personality. Rosa even recovers her hat—it’s now large enough to swallow her entire head and much of her shoulders, but she doesn’t mind, “Because sometimes a hat fits just like that.” Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Stefanie Von Borstel, Full Circle Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Abigail Samoun, Red Fox Literary. (Oct.)