Thursday, June 2, 2016

Whose Hat Is That? (Anita Bijsterbosch)

Illustrator: Anita Bijsterbosch

Target Ages: 1-6

First Lines: “Look! The wind blows a hat up in the air.  WHOOSH!  WHOOSH!”

Publisher Summary:  Whoosh! The wind blows a hat up into the air. Does the hat belong to the cat? Or the rooster? Maybe it belongs to the snake or the cow? Or the peacock, the horse or the polar bear?

All the animals look good wearing the hat. But whose hat is it really?”

Evaluation:  Whose Hat Is That? has all the essential ingredients for a first-rate reading and learning experience for preschoolers. 

To start, the story follows a predictable pattern.  It begins with the following:

There goes the hat.
Who hat is that?

There is an opportunity to identify rhyming words and practice others. After a few times reading it out loud, children can begin to follow along and “read” with you. The vocabulary is simple enough that beginning readers can decode it. 

The pattern continues with the sound the animal makes and then it says:

This hat is mine.
It looks good on me. 

Again, it is an ideal opportunity for children to join in the reading. To get even more creative, give each animal character a unique attitude or vocal tone as you recite those lines. 

Children can, also, practice predicting skills.  After a couple pages (once they understand the pattern), ask what animal they think will be next.  You might even look ahead and give a hint or two.  On successive readings, you can continue to ask periodically. 

Next, there is lots of fun onomatopoeia.  Of course, children can learn and join in on the animal sounds.  Most the pages begin with a fun “WHOOSH!”  that children can say to begin each sequence.

Finally, the illustrations are fantastic!  Each two-page spread begins with a small version of the animal that previously wore the hat and a dotted lined showing the movement of the hat in the wind to the next animal. Young children can follow the movement of the hat with their fingers. Bijsterbosch uses bright colors and clean lines. Solid colored backgrounds make the animals pop off the page.

If my children were still young, I would buy this book for our home library.  I love books that provide opportunities for preschoolers to get involved in the reading process. Whose Hat Is That? is the perfect read-out-loud for ages 1-6. 

Activities and Extension Ideas for Lesson Plans:
As noted in the Evaluation (Above)
  • Rhyming Words
  • Animal Sounds
  • Choral Reading
  • Predicting Skills
Additional Ideas
  • Art:  Find a basic hat pattern (or make one).  Decorate it together with art supplies.
  • Math:  Count the number of animals for wore the hat.  For classes or small groups, take a survey as to who looks the best in the hat.  Make a chart to show your results. 
  • Writing:  Write a sentence about the book (together or independently).  Illustrate it.  A couple prompt ideas:  My favorite animal is...  The hat looks best on…
  • Science: Go outside on a windy day.  Talk about what you feel, see, and hear. Read other books about the wind.  Here are a few to begin with:
Asch, Frank. Like aWindy Day.
Cobb, Vicki.  I Face the Wind.
Dorros, Arthur. Feel the Wind.
Hutchins, Pat.  The Wind Blew.

Visit Susanna Hill’s blog for the weekly round up of Perfect Picture Books.


  1. What a charming and fun book for children. I particularly like the many suggested activities for using this book with a child. I particularly like your writing suggestion for older kids.

  2. What great activities and I am glad you have added a strong book for the very young to our PPBF list. Love the idea of choral reading.

  3. Yay! A book I haven't read yet. This one looks like a lot of fun! Great activities, too!

  4. I'm always looking for new rhyming books to read with my first graders. This looks like a winner!


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