My Red Hat

by Rachel Stubbs (Author) Rachel Stubbs (Illustrator)

My Red Hat
Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

In a touching reflection on love between generations, a grandfather passes down a hat that has seen a world of moments--and carries a big piece of his heart.

A hat can do many things. It can keep you warm and dry. It can help you stand out in a crowd, or it can help you blend in. It can hold your dreams or your secrets, and it can hide your fears. In a debut picture book, Rachel Stubbs pairs winsomely expressive artwork with a gentle meditation on family connection and memory, as a grandfather offers his grandchild the anticipation of a life lived with wonder and openness . . . and a very special hat.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1--In illustrations reminiscent of the works of James Stevenson, an older white man--a grandfather?--tells his young female charge that a hat is full of possibilities. It can keep her dry, warm, or cool. It can help her to be silly or stand out in a crowd. And a hat given from the heart? It represents the love that goes along on any adventure life brings. In Stubbs's tender debut, blue and red ink on graphite sketches depict the unnamed protagonists exploring the world through a red hat. The hat accompanies the pair on their adventures near and far, simple and serious. The strong, trusting bond between them is evident whether they are navigating bustling crowds diverse in race, age, and ability on their way to the park, or in quiet moments safe to express secrets and fears. The young girl daydreams of solo adventures in far away places wearing the hat, but always returning home. Similar in concept to Lauren Castillo's Nana in the City, this cozy story is sure to bring smiles to the faces of many and is one to share with a loved one. VERDICT A sweetly potent homage to the special love between old and young; recommended for all public library collections.--Emily Brush, Novi P.L., MI

Copyright 2021 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Stubbs' sublime, exuberantly lined illustrations bounce from scenario to scenario with a consistent sense of magical optimism, carried in each red burst and pale swoop of gray-blue. At each picture's center sit the elder and the child, an intergenerational dialogue that asks for the warmth of ambitious imagination and its potential in life. Alone with the hat on their head, the child travels to places "way down deep" and "way up high" before returning home, reunited with the elder whose arms guarantee an embrace. "This hat is for you," concludes the elder's promise, a rousing appeal carried by the weight of dreams. Like a gentle prod to the heart.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Rachel Stubbs
Rachel Stubbs received an MA in illustration from the UK's Cambridge School of Art in 2017 and, in that same year, was awarded the Sebastian Walker Award for Illustration. Rachel Stubbs makes her home in London.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
February 20, 2021

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