Review of Very Good Hats, by Emma Straub, illustrated by Blanca Gómez

Very Good Hats

by Emma Straub
illustrated by Blanca Gómez

Rocky Pond Books (Penguin Random House), 2023. 32 pages.
Review written February 28, 2023, from a library book.
Starred Review

If you’ve ever been around a toddler or small child, some time or other you’ve played a game that explores the concept of What is a hat? This book puts that silly game into a picture book.

The first page challenges the reader:

Do you know what a hat is?

I bet you think you know what a hat is.

And yes, the next page starts with a haberdashery (okay, I didn’t expect that), but it goes on to acorn caps as hats for your fingers and books as hats for people with excellent posture.

Bubbles make very fine hats, if temporary.
A crown is a hat for a queen, but flowers can be too.

The roof is the house’s hat, and a lid is a pot’s hat.
Everyone knows that.

Pajama pants make for a dangly hat,
and towels are twirly hats, majestic as a unicorn.

I think my favorite spread is this one:

Empty bowls work, but you have to make sure they’re empty first,
otherwise you might have a soup hat instead.

I also enjoy this question, which I’d never thought about before:

If a turtle can tuck its head into its shell,
does that make its shell a hat?

And yes, the illustrations all add to the seriously silly fun.

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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