The Upside Down Hat
- context: Array
- icon_position: before
- theme_hook_original: google_books_biblio
The Upside Down Hat
When it started to storm, he put the hat on and it kept the rain out of his eyes while he searched for what he’d lost.
But after a thousand steps and ten thousand raindrops he had only his hat and a terrible thirst.
So he turned the hat upside down and drank.
Upside Down Hat is an endearing and emotional story about the human experience of loss, perseverance, and finding out what matters most. A boy wakes up one morning and finds that everything he owns has gone missing. With nothing but a simple green hat, the boy journeys through distant landscapes, searching far and wide for the items he has lost. Along the way, he discovers that perhaps everything he truly needs has actually been with him all along.
Debut author Stephen Barr is to be commended for creating a soon-to-be treasured story that offers a deeply emotional weight in minimal yet poignantly lyrical words. With a beautiful rhythm that will lend itself well to read-alouds in both private and public spaces, the story offers a thought-provoking fable of hope and gratitude that is certain to connect with all audiences. If Upside Down Hat is a sign of what’s to come in the future from Barr, great expectations lie ahead.
Gracey Zhang’s whimsical illustrations do a wonderful job in creating a visual path for readers to follow alongside the story’s written text. Bold use of line and a water-coloured vibrancy are beautifully emphasized across all pages, allowing for a truly immersive experience that often echoes the varying emotional tones of the story. Equal parts reminiscent and stylistically new, Zhang’s artwork helps to enhance the book’s journey of both the boy looking for his hat and readers searching for their own personal meaning amongst the pages.
Perfect for engaging all ages during read-aloud events and offering multiple entry points for discussions about what is truly essential in our lives, The Upside Down Hat is an absolute treasure. Educators, librarians, and families need this title on their shelves. It acts nicely as a modern heartfelt companion to time-tested literary treasures like The Giving Tree and The Little Prince. And just like those beloved classics, it is certain to resonate with family and friends and become the new go-to gift for loved ones as they step out into the unknown world via graduations, weddings, and a variety of other life experiences.
Amy Westbury is a teacher-librarian at Abbey Lane Public School in Oakville, Ontario.