Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
The Baby in the Hat

The Baby in the Hat

Fall 2008 Picture Books
Ages: 4 - 8 yrs.
Author: Allan Ahlberg
Illustrator: Andre Amstutz
Publisher: Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978-0763639587
Hardcover Price: $16.99
A baby falling from an open window fortuitously lands in a passerby's hat and starts a chain of events involving a train trip, a tumble off of London Bridge, a passing ship, a storm, a stint as a cabin boy then mate then captain, pirates, naval battles, treasure...and all the way back and around to wedded bliss. "His Bride-she was that Baby. Did you Guess?" The whimsy is all couched in a faux-antique style that begins with the title page ("If any reader hath a curiosity to learn Particulars relating to Copyright, he will receive Satisfaction hereinafter."), carries through the eccentric capitalizations in the text, and reaches full flower in the quirky illustrations which feature running commentary ("It's true!" "Believe me!" "Ahoy there!" "Hurrah!") by a variety of incidental character's including our hero's best friend, a seagull, a mermaid, and his loyal crew. The top-hatted, frock-coated cast and the plethora of tiny stories embodied in the details make for fine fluff indeed!
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard   ©2008 Parents' Choice
Kristi Elle Jemtegaard is the Coordinator of Youth Services for the Arlington Public Library system. She has taught courses on children’s and young adult literature at the Catholic University of America and the University of Virginia. She has served on both the Newbery and Caldecott Award Committees of the American Library Association and has chaired the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee and the May Hill Arbuthnot Award Committee. She is a member and past president of the Children’s Book Guild of Washington DC and has chaired the Washington Post–Book Guild Nonfiction Award Committee. She is a founding member of Capitol Choices, an organization of professionals in the field of children’s literature in the greater Washington DC area. She regularly reviews children’s literature and audio productions for a variety of national publications.

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