“The Hat Monster” by Trisha Keesmaat

“The Hat Monster” by Trisha Keesmaat 1024 1024 Reader Views Kids

The Hat Monster

Trisha Keesmaat
FriesenPress (2023)
ISBN: 978-1039142817
Reviewed by Kassia Scotti for Reader Views (01/2024)

In Trisha Keesmaat’s “The Hat Monster,” Sue is a monster with a knack for making hats. Through nurturing this love of creating and her natural talent, Sue goes from only making hats for herself and others as a hobby, to opening her own shop.

Right from the start, I loved the fun and creativity in this idea. I enjoy a character who is driven and passionate about something, and Sue was definitely both of those things. It makes for a character we can root for, and I was rooting for Sue the whole time. It’s lovely to see the way other people and characters alike love something. Sue knew she found happiness in making hats, and she never hesitated to find a way to make them a main part of her life.

I really liked the bit about the thinking cap. It was a very clever use of the affordances of a hat. There was a hat for every imaginable event, weather condition, and circumstance. Sue’s delight in making a hat for every specific need was very infectious, there is a lot of joy between every page.

As for the style and format, I adore the rich, vibrant colors and the imagined world that these creatures live in. It gives a very appropriate whimsical energy to the story as a whole. It reminds me of folktales, like the stories I remember as a child that transported me to some faraway land. The rhyming lines also add to this by giving the story a cheerful sing-song rhythm to it.

When I started reading, I was wondering what the overall message of the story would be. I thought, maybe it is only an amusing story about hats, which would still be great. However, I quickly found what Keesmaat felt was important to teach children, and it’s something that is very important to me. She teaches us to be eager and excited about the things we love, even if it’s a bit outrageous. Sue managed to turn “work into play,” which shows us that if you love what you do, it won’t feel like work. I can’t stop thinking about the line,

A life without hats is like moldy old bread.

For Sue, it’s hats she cannot be happy without. I think everyone should have that one thing that life would be moldy old bread without, and they should never let it go.

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