Hiro’s Hats

Wild Swans. Dec. 2019. 24p. pap. ISBN 9781733304306.
PreS-Gr 2–Kleven’s joyous art is instantly recognizable to her readers. The colorful palette and use of movement and fantastical detail make her stories page-turning reads. In this picture book, Hiro is a young a snow monkey living in the rugged mountains of Japan who notices a colorful bird gliding toward the ground. It’s not a bird, after all, but a hat taken by the wind. To Hiro, it is a toy and despite being teased by his brother, he plays with his newfound toy constantly. During a windy storm, Hiro’s toy blows away and his friend, Robin, flies off in search of it. After a time, the robin reappears with the pom-pom from the top of the hat but Hiro decides it makes a perfect hat for Robin. Throughout the winter, Hiro and Robin keep themselves warm together. The very last page shows a little girl reaching for a hat, once hers, caught in the wind and wonders where it went on its travels. A page of back matter provides information on the Snow Monkeys of Japan.
VERDICT This satisfying story of imagination and friendship would pair well with Mem Fox’s The Magic Hat, Lita Judge’s Red Hat, Jan Brett’s The Hat, Eileen Spinelli’s Do You Have a Hat?, and Brian Won’s Hooray for Hat!. A lovely addition to elementary library shelves.

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