Picture Book Reviews

Review: Not My Hats! by Tracy Gunaratnam and Alea Marley


Hettie the polar bear loves hats. She hat tall hats, small hats and any size at all hats. Hettie will never, ever share her hats. When Puffin comes along in search of a hat, Hettie remains firm, until she discovers Puffin might have something to share in return. 

A story of friendship and sharing. 

img_5316Issues of sharing will be familiar to parents of small children. The lovely thing about Not My Hats! is although it has a clear message, it never comes across as preachy. The story is made funnier by Hettie’s facial expressions, from her anger at the thought of sharing to her sudden interest in Puffin’s scarves. Everything about her is exaggerated. It is impossible not to love her, even when she is being a diva. 

The rhyme-scheme is fantastic. Children will soon join in as the words and the rhythm become familiar. I can see this being popular with infants school teachers. It would be a great resource for teaching phonics, particularly because it is not written for this purpose so does not feel in any way forced. 

I love how the muted pastel backgrounds are changed for primary colours when Hettie feels a particularly strong emotion. 

The illustrations are clear and simple, with a focus on the main characters and Hettie’s img_5315hats. There is minimal distraction from the main story. The pictures are bright and full of character, and I love the recurring fish motif. 

A delightful story, perfect for fans of Oh No George! and Oi! Frog! Be warned – this is one has an addictive rhythm, and you might be asked to read it three times in a row. 


Louise Nettleton

Thanks to Maverick Arts Publishing for my copy of Not My Hats! Opinions my own.

6 thoughts on “Review: Not My Hats! by Tracy Gunaratnam and Alea Marley

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