Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
The titular topper of this rollicking, rhyming read-aloud is indeed magic: when it blows into town one day, it plops down on the head of resident after resident, instantly transforming each person into an animal. Each time the chapeau lands, Fox (Time for Bed) reprises the refrain, "Oh, the magic hat, the magic hat! It moved like this, it moved like that! It spun through the air!" At this point the author inserts a varying line (e.g., "Like a bounding balloon"; "For a mile and a half"), and a flip of the page reveals what animal the new hat-wearer becomes (in the above instances, a baboon and a giraffe). Kids will eagerly join in the guessing game, which Tusa's (Camilla's New Hairdo) fittingly silly, bustling ink-and-watercolor illustrations whip up into high-octane action. Her clever details add to the clues; for instance, a fruit-stand seller juggles bananas as the hat transforms him into a baboon. A supporting cast of animated children witness the zany goings-on, reacting gleefully to each transformation. These characters' unbridled enjoyment will almost certainly evoke the same response from readers. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 3-A whirling, magical hat sweeps into a bustling park, transforming each adult on whom it alights into a fun-loving animal. Rhymed verses add to the humor and allow listeners to predict what will follow as the page turns. A group of delighted children takes up the path of the hat's swirling confetti, until, at last, a large, but impish wizard appears. He restores the characters to their former selves and leaves a large, spotted egg that hatches, distracting the crowd as he turns to leave. But that's not the end. Donning the hat himself, the wizard becomes a high-spirited boy, framed by starlight, kicking up sparkles. Tusa's ink-and-watercolor images dance with life (even the flowers seem to be in motion); kinetic, double-page designs spill off the pages. Add this to your favorite headpiece storytime. Children will be bursting to participate.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Ages 3-6. When a blue hat blows into town, no one knows that it is magic until it plops on the head of a grumpy man and turns him into a frog. From there the hat blows onto the heads of different people: a sleeping man turns into a dancing bear; a mother with children becomes a kangaroo with a baby in a pouch. The bouncy rhyme is fun if undistinguished, but the artwork, in its oversize format, overflows with good humor. Executed in watercolors, the paintings feature rambunctious children, delightful animals, and a fresh-faced wizard who finagles the hat here and there. Fox moves this feast across the two-page spreads with an ease that buoys the spirit. Good for story hours; even children in the back row will be able to see what's going on. Ilene Cooper.
Horn Book Review
After a magic hat sets itself onto the heads of various unsuspecting townspeople, they are turned into animals, the names of which any young reader who knows how to rhyme can guess. Despite the slight premise, preschoolers will enjoy staying one step ahead of the text. The kinetic ink and watercolor images appropriately and effortlessly add to the mayhem. From HORN BOOK Fall 2002, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Book Review
Hopping from head to head, a wizard's errant hat works a quick series of transformations in this giddy, rhymed episode. As gangs of delighted children look on in Tusa's (Mrs. Spitzer's Garden, 2001, etc.) populous, loosely drawn watercolors, the hat, a quirky blue number resembling an upside-down tureen, changes a crabby man into an oversized toad, a park-bench snoozer into a bear, and so on. At last, a gigantic, smiling wizard dances into the picture to reclaim it and turns everyone back to normal. Until his arrival, the last rhyming word in each verse is printed on the following page to heighten suspense, so this broad, lively successor to Tony Johnston's Witch's Hat (1984) will have children demanding repeated readings and completing each verse at top volume: "Oh, the magic hat, the magic hat! / It moved like this, it moved like that! / It spun through the air / (It's true! It's true!) / And sat on the head of a . . . KANGAROO!" (Picture book. 5-7)