Books to Celebrate National Hat Day

Reading recommendations from our own Dr. Alice Mar

I’m writing this on a well-known holiday in January. Of course I am talking about National Hat Day which is January 15th. No worries if you missed celebrating. You can still join in the fun with these books about hats. Read them while wearing a silly hat. Make a hat out of newspaper. Whatever you do, have fun! 

Blue Hat, Green Hat by Sandra Boynton 

This book is pure silliness. All three of my kids loved it as toddlers and preschoolers. In fact, my 18 year old just commented “That’s a classic!” The concept is simple: a bunch of animals dress up in clothes but the turkey is always slightly off. Kids will love it and will quickly be able to recite the simple text as you look at the book together.

Red Hat by Lita Judge

Another great book for toddlers and early preschoolers, Red Hat is an almost wordless picture book about a group of animals that take a red hat that is hanging on a clothesline and craziness ensues. 

Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina

This is a classic book about a peddler who has his caps stolen by a group of mischievous monkeys. Preschoolers will love the silly monkeys and the repetition works well for read-alouds. 

Jennie’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats

Ezra Jack Keats is one of my favorite children’s book authors/illustrators. In this book, we meet a little girl who is disappointed by the hat she is given as a gift as it doesn’t look fancy enough for her. She tries to decorate it herself but can’t quite get it right until she gets some help and inspiration from nature. 

Hetty’s 100 Hats by Janet Slingsby 

Hetty is another little girl who loves hats. In this story, we watch as she collects 100 hats from ones that she has made herself from scraps to household objects to fairy tale hats. 

The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Suess

If you think 100 hats is impressive, then you will want to check this one out. In this lesser known Dr. Seuss tale, a young boy is ordered to remove his hat for the king. He does, only to find another in its place. And another. And another. 

The Hat Trilogy by Jon Klassen

Children often like slightly darker humor and Jon Klassen’s hat trilogy is perfect for it’s simple stories and deadpan style. The first book in the series, I Want My Hat Back, is about a bear searching for his hat. The slightly dark twist at the end will have most kids laughing. The second book, This is Not My Hat, follows a tiny fish who has stolen a big fish’s hat and also has a potentially darkly funny ending. The third book, We Found a Hat, is about two turtles who find one hat. This one has a sweeter message as the turtles ultimately decide their friendship is more important than the hat, but it has a similar style to the other two books in the trilogy. 

Brimsby’s Hats by Andrew Prahin 

This is a sweet story about a happy hat maker who has tea everyday with his best friend until the friend decides to go off to sea to pursue his own dream of becoming a sea captain. At first Brimsby is lonely but in the end he finds a way to use his hats to make new friends. This is a sweet story with a solid theme of friendship. 

Aunt Lucy Went to Buy a Hat by Alice Low 

In this book, we meet scatterbrained Aunt Lucy who thinks she has lost her hat (the reader sees that her hat is really tied around her neck). She goes out to buy another hat but somehow ends up with a cat. She goes to the store to buy milk for the cat and ends up with silk. Lots of rhyming fun and the chaotic goofy story will appeal to kids. 

Do You Have a Hat by Eileen Spinelli 

Eileen Spinelli uses bouncy cheery rhymes to look at a wide variety of famous historical figures through their hats (Francisco de Goya, Nat Love, and Sally Ride are a few of the ones mentioned). Preschoolers can enjoy the fun rhymes and brightly colored illustrations. Older kids might enjoy recognizing figures like Abe Lincoln. 

Magritte’s Marvelous Hat by D. B. Johnson 

This is another wonderful book that will appeal to preschoolers just for the story and the illustrations but also will also introduce kids to an artist. The story follows a dog who finds a hat that is magical and that helps him to see the world in a different way and transforms his life and paintings. You don’t have to know anything about surrealism or art to enjoy the book but the addition of several see-through pages that change the pictures when you turn the page will introduce surrealism to kids in a fun and accessible way.