Hat On, Hat Off Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

HatOnHatOff_1000px“What parent or caregiver hasn’t played the game of putting on and taking off a piece of clothing with a baby? Heras and Benoit cleverly take that experience and knit it into a story with a cute brown-skinned toddler getting ready to go outside with a pigtailed older sibling’s help with shoes and jacket sleeves. Sippy cup, pail and shovel, potty stop, and favorite stuffed animal are all required as well, but with each step the child takes one hat off and then puts another back on. The tot cycles through a hat with a bear’s face and ears, a striped hat with a pom-pom, a penguin hat with tassels, a green, knobbly hat with frog’s eyes, before returning to the bear hat—which ends up in a pile of leaves as soon as the children finally get outside. Even Bunny wears a hat (with carrots on it, of course). “Time to go out! / Need a hat. // Hats in basket / Red hat, green hat, striped hat / Which hat?” The staccato phrases are extended by the charming watercolor-and-digital illustrations that bleed off the page, creating an intimate, up-close effect. Soft colors and background patterns of knitted yarn (which only adults will notice) add a cozy feeling to the text pages. Heavyweight paper and rounded corners will help little hands to turn the pages easily. A seemingly simple story is greatly enhanced by nuanced, toddler-friendly details. (Picture book. 1-3)”

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School Library Journal

“Heras and Benoit tell a story that every parent will relate to, using toddler-friendly language and soft watercolor illustrations. The patterns of each hat are subtly woven into the narrative as a backdrop to many of the pages that contain text….Recounting the delights and trials of toddlerhood, this charming offering makes for a fun read-aloud to share one-on-one or with a small group.”

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CM Magazine

“The simple and repetitive language used throughout the book works well for children who are just learning to speak…The illustrations do a great job of giving visual cues for children to follow along with. Overall, Hat On, Hat Off is a lovely little book for young children and parents.”

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Resource Links

Hat On, Hat Off is a wonderful read-a-loud title for young children that should be incorporated into library and classroom collections without hesitation.”

Read the full review in Resource Links October 2016 issue page 6

Canadian Children’s BookNews

“A toddler’s big sister tries to get him ready to go out, but there are so many hats to choose from. And so many things to remember.…

Theo Heras uses spare and simple language to tell a story that toddlers and preschoolers (and certainly their parents and caregivers) are sure to recognize. Renné Benoit’s soft illustrations bring the antics to life. From the assortment of fun and funky hats piled up in a basket to the facial expressions of the toddler in question, Benoit demonstrates an eye for details that matter.

…This book has a potential interactive quality that little ones are sure to enjoy.”

Read the full review on page 31 of the Spring 2017 issue of Canadian Children’s BookNews

National Reading Campaign

“In Hat On, Hat Off, Toronto author and librarian Theo Heras humourously captures the complexities of getting a toddler dressed and ready to go outside….Renné Benoit’s softly hued, realistic watercolour illustrations extend Theo Heras’s simple, conversational text. Subtle swatches of knitting patterns appear in background details. The little boy’s stuffed pal Bunny also wears a hat, brightly decorated with a carrot novelty print. The book’s design is very appealing to little hands, with a soft padded cover, and rounded corners. Infinitely relatable, Hat On, Hat Off is a warm, slice-of-life adventure that is perfect for sharing.”
—Linda Ludke

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CanLit for LittleCanadians

“Theo Heras’ text is not complex but that makes it easy to follow for those for whom Hat On, Hat Off is written, and the book is appropriately packaged for them: small size with padded hardcover, thick paper and rounded corners. Young children will…especially be hooked by Renné Benoit’s endearing illustrations….[A] joyful experience of style and taste and childish amusement.”

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Youth Services Book Review

Format: Hardcover/Board book

Rating: (1-5, 5 is a starred review) 3

Genre:  Picture book

What did you like about the book? The format of this book is a cross between a hardcover and a board book. The cover is padded and the pages are very thick cardboard, but not as thick as a board book. This is a book about a little boy who puts his hat on and takes it off many times during the day, depending on his activity. One page has a full picture and the facing page has the text, which is geared to very young toddlers….

To Whom Would You Recommend this book? This is for toddlers, 1-3

Who should buy this book? All libraries

Where would you shelve it? Children’s Books 

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Yes

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: Sandra Pacheco, ESL teacher, Washington, D.C.”

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