The Hat

The Hat

by Jan Brett


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November 1997

With more than 12 million books in print, Jan Brett is unquestionably one of the world's top author-illustrators. Now she has created a tale sure to please her loyal fans and destined to draw in legions of new ones. The Hat is a delightful story with a strong Scandinavian influence, told as much through Brett's illustrations as through her words.

In The Hat, a little hedgehog, appropriately named Hedgie, finds himself stuck a stocking, which has blown off the clothesline. As the barnyard animals laugh and poke fun at Hedgie's new "hat," Hedgie convinces them that everyone needs a winter hat to keep warm as the cold months approach.

When Lisa, the clothing's owner, realizes that her stocking is missing, she tracks down Hedgie to take it back, only to discover that all the animals in the farm are now wearing clothing articles from her clothesline! In the end, Lisa has to run around the farm, retrieving her clothes from the animals.

Brett fans will not be surprised that the author's real-life pet hedgehog, Buffy, inspired The Hat: One morning, after searching and searching, Brett and her husband were amused to discover that Buffy had climbed into a slipper sock and was unable to get out because of her spines. A trip to Denmark and the sight of its beautiful scenery was also an influence on the book, which features colorful illustrations, subplots played out in the pages' borders, and all the distinctive elements that Brett fans -- both children and adults -- love so much.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399231018
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 09/28/1997
Pages: 32
Sales rank: 130,433
Product dimensions: 10.10(w) x 8.68(h) x 0.34(d)
Lexile: 540L (what's this?)
Age Range: 3 - 6 Years

About the Author

With over thirty four million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.

As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."

As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."

Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."

Read an Excerpt

The Hat

By Jan Brett

Putnam Publishing Group

Copyright © 1997 Jan Brett
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0399231013

Chapter One

Winter was coming. Lisa took out her warm clothes.

She was hanging them up when the wind blew away one of her socks.

Hedgie found it, poked his nose in and got stuck. Oh no! he thought. I'll never get this off.

"Cackle, cackle," the mother hen said. "What's that thing on your head, Hedgie?"

"Why, it's my new hat," he sniffed. "Oh," said the mother hen. And off she ran.

"Honk! Honk! Ho, ho," the gander laughed. "Laugh, Gander. But when it rains, my hat will keep me dry."

Hmmm, the gander thought. And off he ran.

"Meow," the barn cat called down. "You look funny today, Hedgie." "Maybe, but I will be warm in the snow." "Ah ha ..." purred the cat. And off he ran.

"Is that you in a hat, Hedgie?" the farm dog barked.

"Why not? It's very cozy," he said.

Her ears perked up. "Woof! Woof!" And off she ran.

"Oink! Oink!" the mama pig squeled. "What are you up to, Hedgie?"

"Making sure my hat doesn't blow off." "I see," said the mama pig. And off she ran.

"You look ridiculous, Hedgie!" the pony snorted.

"Why? Shouldn't everyone wear a hat in the ice and snow?"

Good idea! the pony thought. And off he ran.

Hedgie just wanted to be alone.

Everyone was laughing at him with this thing on his head.

Even Lisa was running after him. "Stop!" She wanted her sock back.

"Oh, no," Hedgie said. "Now the girl is laughing at me too!"


Excerpted from The Hat by Jan Brett Copyright © 1997 by Jan Brett. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


Before the live chat, Jan Brett agreed to answer some of our questions:

Q:  What was it like painting at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House?

A:  It was a great sense of history to be there, and it makes you feel like you are in touch with children who might not normally be reading children's books. I met a lot of children who had never met an illustrator before. A lot of kids would come by my easel, and they would see me painting on it. It was great for them to see how much time and thought that it takes to draw. I think they could sense how happy I am when I do it. Just like Tom Sawyer painting his fence.

Q:  What type of artistic or literary research did you do for The Hat?

A:  I went to Denmark and spent ten days there. During the ten days, we stayed in a 400-year-old inn with a thatched roof and a lot of the animals that appear in the book. We stayed on the island of Fuenan, the middle island of Denmark. The light was also beautiful. I didn't use any black in the book -- all the dark colors are a mixture. Going to a place gives you details that you might not ever imagine.

Q:  What are a few of your favorite museums?

A:  The Louvre in Paris. It is so amazing that I would say that I haven't accepted it mentally. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is also one of my personal favorites. I went to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston as almost a second home, having gone to art school there; we had a free pass, and I went there all the time. A folk museum in Oslo, Norway -- it had a collection of carved sleighs that brought me to my knees. These sleighs were beautiful. Another time I was moved was in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. There were these horse sculptures discovered at the bottom of the ocean -- they were just found in the '20s. Another personal favorite is in Bad Tölz, Germany, which is where I found the cart for Berlioz the Bear.

Q:  Who would you list as your artistic influences? What about literary influences?

A:  Beatrix Potter is definitely one. Her books were some of the few books that I read and felt like I wasn't being talked down to. She put some difficult words that I never knew in her books, but in the context, I understood them. She valued the reader, and I felt like I had a new word that I learned. I loved to collect new words when I was a child, and Potter made this possible.

Q:  At what point did you realize that you wanted to illustrate and write children's books?

A:  I know that I was about six, but I don't know if it was because I was drawing all the time or because I was practicing it all the time and people kept on telling me that I should draw for children's books.... What I drew looked like it came from a children's book: With a children's book there is always a before and an after. Of course, at the time, I thought I didn't have to study, which was a big mistake. I have done a lot of traveling, which I have used to make up for a lot of lost time.

Customer Reviews

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The Hat 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
DanielleSt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a short children's book about a group of farm animals that are inspired by their friend, Hedgie the hedgehog. Hedgie stumbles upon Lisa's, the girl living on the farm, clothes line and gets stuck in her stocking as a result. He tells several other animals that the stocking is a functional hat, and eventually all of the other animals follow his lead. Great illustrations that include foreshadowing and backtracking for children!
runner_roader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Hedge, a hedgehog finds a stocking that Lisa has hung out to air. Hedge thinks its a hat and walks through the woods, however, at every turn the animals around him laugh and poke fun of this "hat" on his head. He defends his hat saying "who says animals cannot wear clothing too?" Winter is approaching and he wants to stay warm. As the story continues along, Jan Brett offers insists as to the events to come within the story in her illustrative borders. My daughter noticed that on each page another article of clothing disappeared from Lisa's clothesline. I was impressed that she picked up on the details of the illustrations!Classroom use - Students could discuss the effects of laughing at others that are different than they are and the feelings that are involved. Sometimes someone chooses to do something different than the rest, as Hedge has done with the stocking hat. But his choice influenced the other animals to find clothing of their own to keep warm for the winter.
conuly on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't like this book as much as The Mitten, but it's cute in its own right.Hedgie - maybe the same Hedgie as Hedgie's Surprise, which means this is a sequel to THAT book and not to The Mitten - spends the book running around with a sock on his head after an accident. When the other animals point out how silly this is, poor Hedgie tries to defend his "choice". (Hm. You don't know anybody who does THAT, do you, defend their little accidents like they meant to do that?)At this point, the humor is all in the side panels. You know how Brett works. You look at the side panels and see what's going on while the main story continues. One thing that's going on is clothes are disappearing from the clothesline. Hm....The ending is pretty funny, and I don't wish to spoil it for you, but let's just say you should never listen to braggers. The book this REALLY goes with, of course, is "Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing".
dfarhat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Beautifully illustrations with a lot of details. When a woolen sock gets stuck on Hedgie's head, he convinces other animals that he is the smart animal to try to keep himself warm during the cold winter months. One by one, the clothes disappear until a parade of animals wearing hats passes by. Each page is beautifully framed with images that anticipate the unfolding events.
mcprice on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The hat, reminds me of the story about the mitten, where many animals try and keep warm. A lady is hanging up some clothes and one of the items get stuck on a porcupine. The porcupine goes around and different animals think its nice and they want to copy the style. The picture in the book, one side it foreshadows what animal the porcupine is going to come across next.
bspentecost on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lisa lost her mitten and Hedgie has got it stuck on his head. All of the animals are making fun of Hedgie but Hedgie tries to play it off. Hedgie says his new hat keeps him warm in the winter snow. Lisa finds Hedgie and gets back her stocking. When Lisa looks around all of the animals that were once making fun of Hedgie are wearing her clothes on their heads. Hedgie begins to laugh and makes a joke that animals should not wear clothes. I like this book for kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade. This book really shows how everyone wants to fit in.
ermilligan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Hat is an animal story about a hedgehog that gets a sock stuck on his head. He continually gets criticized from his friends, but keeps telling them that he is the smart one for being prepared for winter by wearing his warm hat. I liked this book and the characters. This book would be a good story when you are talking about not criticizing other people.
amandawebster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A hedgehog gets a stocking stuck on his head, and he thinks all of the other animals are laughing at his "hat." But in the end, they each retrieve a different clothing item to also wear as a hat.
RebeccaMichelet on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One day a girl hangs up her winter clothes on a line in preparation for winter. While hanging her clothes a stocking falls off, and is found by a hedgehog. After sticking his nose inside the stocking, it gets stuck in his prickles. As he walks around the farm, each animal comments about his "hat," and he tells them he would at least be prepared for the cold weather. When the girl finds the hedgehog, she removes the stocking, and then notices all of her woolen clothes are gone. She realizes all of the animals took her clothes, and as she chases them, the hedgehog says animals are not supposed to wear clothes.
NikoleJosh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Hedgie the hedgehog gets a woolen sock stuck on his head. When the animals start to make fun of him he replies that it is a hat to keep him warm for winter. As Hedgie tries to get the sock off his head he gives the other animals an idea.My Response: The story has a funny twist to the story how the hedgehog keeps lying to the other animals telling them the sock is a hat. I enjoyed reading this book because it shows what the animals may think of human accessories and clothes. I would recommend this book to kids.Classroom Extension: 1)Ask students what effects it may have on others when they make fun of others. 2)If they needed help would they ask someone for help or feel pressured to lie so they wouldn't get made fun of.
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Auntie-Lea More than 1 year ago
Love all of Jan Brett's books no matter what. Kids love them too. My niece is a 1st grade school teacher and she says Jan Brett is one of her favorite authors.
The-Write-House More than 1 year ago
A very charming and heartwarming book. "The Hat" is an engaging and humorous little story that children like to follow along with. Just the job if you're looking for a few cozy minutes before a nap.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love it! its so funny i like when hegie wears the sock and my teacher read it to my class when my teacher read it in school she made some funny voices.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this story you will see Lisa getting ready for winter by taking her clothes out of the chest. She hangs them up outside on a clothesline only to find out she lost her stocking. Hedgie poked his nose inside the stocking and his prickles stuck to it! The other animals on the farm see Hedgie and start making fun of him. At the end of the story the other animals find Lisa¿s clothes and wear them as hats also! You would like this story because it has a silly ending. We like the characters and the pictures are beautiful. Read this story because it would make you happy!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a fun book to share with preschoolers. They think the illustrations are very silly! It is a great way to talk about being different.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jan, Brett. The Hat Illustrated by an anonymous artist. G.P Putman¿s Sons 1997 I.S.B.N. 0-399-23101-3 The Hat, written by Jan Brett, illustrated by an anonymous artist, and printed in 1997, will fascinate young readers of ages seven through ten. This book teaches readers that they need to think twice before making fun of somebody. In the book, a little hedgehog named Hedgie accidentally finds himself in the most peculiar situation. The other animals where he lives makes fun of Hedgie. Ironically they actually end up imitating him. This is an excellent book because it is entertaining to see how the animals want to be just like Hedgie. It is also a lesson in kindness because it shows how people and animals feel when laughed at. If you are fond of animals, you will be interested from the beginning of the book because there are animals on the cover. If you enjoy this book, you should definitely read The Mitten, also written by Jan Brett.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so beautifully illustrated that every time you read it you will discover something new. Kids really love the way the story unfolds and love to read it over and over. A very simple story without violence or being too cutesy. Highly recommended for ages 2-4 and for young readers as well!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I continue to purchase these books for my grandchildren now. They are delightful both in text and illustration-so much going on! I am Scandinavian besides so her books are a win-win!!!