It's a dreary Monday morning and you are in line at a drive through Starbucks wishing you could be anywhere but on your way to work. But when you pull up to the check-out window, your day is immeasurably brightened when you learn the car in front of you paid for your coffee. And so you, in turn, pay for the car behind you - and you hope it continues and continues again. That's the best, right? That's what I think of whenever I read this book.
It is impossible to turn the pages of Brian Won's darling Hooray for Hat! without smiling-- and that goes for both you and your kids. This book screams happiness, even when the animals depicted on the inside pages are at their grumpiest.
Hooray for Hat! begins as an elephant wakes up and feels awfully grumpy. Alas, a present outside his door reveals a fun new hat, and it brightens elephant's mood considerably. What follows is an intro to several more grumpy animals, each in turn made happier when elephant and the others share the hat. This book perfectly illustrates the concept of paying it forward, teaching even the youngest readers that their simple actions can brighten the world around them.
I adore this sweet story and it's vibrant illustrations, and I think it is especially wonderful for the set that is graduating from board books but doesn't yet have the attention span to sit and listen to a long story. The minimal text is repetitive and predictable. Children will quickly be able to chime in with the book's two main phrases -- "go away I'm grumpy!" and "hooray for hat!" - which allows kids to become active participants in the story and provides the perfect way to engage even the most reluctant readers. Most importantly, this interaction helps strengthen early reading skills. Any book that encourages children to view themselves as readers is deserving of a spot on your shelves. Hooray for this joyful book- and Hooray for Hat!
Want the book? Get it here! Hooray for Hat!, by Brian Won. *This is an affiliate link.