Hooray for Hat!

Book review by
Jan Carr, Common Sense Media
Hooray for Hat! Book Poster Image
Spirited animal story celebrates friends, hats, and parades.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Since Hooray for Hat! is written with simple text and repeated refrains, it's an excellent book to encourage early language development. Very young kids can "read" along with the story and chime in with the cheers.

Positive Messages

Sometimes you might feel grumpy, but there are things that can help you feel better. When your friends are feeling grumpy, too, share your good cheer. It makes all of us happier when we think about friends and share with them.

Positive Role Models & Representations

All the animals are positive role models. When they see that their friends are feeling blue, they try to cheer them up by sharing their hats.

Violence & Scariness

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Hooray for Hat! by debut author/illustrator Brian Won is a fun and spirited book for the youngest set. When Elephant's feeling grumpy, he receives a surprise present, a stack of hats. He dons the stack and marches off to show Zebra, who's also feeling grumpy, so Elephant offers him a hat. Together they march off to show Turtle … and so it goes until all the animal friends have hats and are happily parading across the page. The text is simple, the art spare but colorful, and the story has a fun predictability, with lots of repeated refrains so young kids can "read" along and join in with the shouted cheer, "Hooray for Hat!" It also has an understated, cheerful message: When you and your friends are feeling grumpy, there are simple things you can do to feel better.

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What's the story?

Elephant wakes up feeling grumpy but is cheered significantly when he finds a surprise present outside his door containing a stack of whimsical hats. He puts them on and marches off to show Zebra, but Zebra is feeling grumpy, too -- until Elephant gives him a hat. Together, the two march off to show Turtle, holed up sullenly in his shell, and offer Turtle a hat, too. Soon a parade of happy animals is marching across the page, wearing hats, and cheering, "Hooray for Hat!" But when all the hats are distributed, Giraffe is still hatless and feeling blue. So the animals stack all the hats back in the box and deliver the present to Giraffe: "Hooray for Friends!"

Is it any good?

Break out the Sousa marches: This lively book is an excellent excuse for a parade. With repeated refrains and very little text, the book is rhythmic and spirited, and the spare but colorful pictures of the animals on parade are contagiously fun. Young readers will enjoy the kid-friendly predictability of the story and the simple, cheering message. Feeling grumpy? Keep a lookout for unexpected things that might cheer you. Don a hat! And if friends are feeling grumpy, too? Share your good cheer!

Hooray for Hat! would make an excellent story-time prelude to a spontaneous parade at home or in preschool.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about feeling grumpy. When do you feel grumpy? What makes you feel better?

  • When a friend needs cheering up, what can you do to help?

  • Why do hats make us feel different? What kind of hats do you like to wear?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and animal stories

Themes & Topics

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