The Hat that Zack Loves

The Hat that Zack Loves
Michelle Robinson and Robert Reader
Puffin Books

There’s a satisfying circularity about Michelle Robinson’s new spin on the traditional The House that Jack Built.
It features Zack who buys the hat, a dog that snatches same and leads Zack in a merry dance down onto the subway; then into the park precipitating a frenetic concatenation of events wherein a host of other characters get involved.
There’s a cat, the wind, a grey goose and a policeman on horseback.
The whole chase is exhaustingly riotous, not least for Zack who falls from a tree;

then leaps into a boat in pursuit of his titfa.

But suddenly the wind takes over whisking it from the goose’s head, out of the park and up atop a statue, atop a column.

Will Zack ever get that elusive hat back? Or the whole thing just a wild goose chase?
Thanks to some nifty teamwork and precarious balancing, the hat is finally retrieved and then it’s hats all round.
This is a fun read aloud that, with its repeat refrain, ‘the hat that Zack loves’, cries out for audience participation.
Robert Reader debuts as a picture book artist with this rhythmic tale, gracing each spread with retro style scenes, every one of which has deliciously droll happenings that make you want to slow the pace and revel in the details.

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