Grumpy Hat

Andersen. Feb. 2024. 32p. $18.99. ISBN 9798765625309.
PreS-Gr 2–Ravi is a little brown anthropomorphic dog with a kindergartner’s temperament. In a fit of anger, he breaks his sister’s toy car. Guilty, Ravi feels grumpy, and this emotion manifests itself as a red hat. Kent’s text is rich with simile. The grumpy hat sticks to his head “like dough” and is itchy like “a spider’s dance class.” The flowery language could either obscure the meaning of the text or invite deeper conversation about what all the metaphors mean. As the story continues, the meaning of the hat becomes more muddled. Ravi is no longer grumpy, but the hat sticks around; only when Ravi steps outside his self-absorption and takes responsibility for his outbursts does the grumpy hat give way. The art is vibrant with greens, reds, and yellows. Most illustrations spread across two pages with the text smartly incorporated into white space. Originally published in the UK, the book substitutes “crossness” for anger.
VERDICT With his red hat and blue shirt, Ravi looks like the iconic British bear Paddington in a book that could be a charming addition for larger collections.

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