HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Elf’s Hat
Author: Brigitte Weninger
Illustrator: John A. Rowe
Publisher: North-South/Night Sky Books, 2000
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Weninger, Brigitte. The Elf’s Hat (published in 2000 by North-South/Night Sky Books). In this adaptation of a popular Ukrainian folktale, an unsuspecting elf loses his hat when a low-lying branch knocks it off his head. Eight woodland creatures then find it lying on the forest floor and make it their home. “A home in a hat? Imagine that….” They range in size from a mouse to a bear and include a frog, a hare, and a wolf. Everyone gets along fine until a flea sneaks her way inside without even asking. A collective “NOOOOOO!” fills the hat and its inhabitants all run away. The flea then finds herself living alone until the oblivious elf returns to claim his lost hat.
Author Brenda Weninger creates a good rhythm by using patterned language and short sentences. Illustrator John A. Rowe’s caricature-style illustrations in vibrant colors reflect the humor of the tale with insects and a variety of little creatures providing unusual interactive borders. Kids will enjoy the cumulative nature of the story and the cute surprise ending. They will easily get into making the animal sounds with each new creature entering the hat, laughing as the hat grows, and finally joining in the NO for the teeny-weeny flea. This was a hit at our house when the boys were small.