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Author: Carolyn Mott Ford

Illustrator: Jack Gordon

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Publisher: E & E Publishing,

Material: paperback

Summary: Ten hats hang on the rack on the wall. We count down from ten to one as we find out who wears each hat (construction hat, police hat, ballerina tiara, etc.). The hats disappear as they count down. Each person is actually a different animal: an elephant ballerina, a pig policewoman, etc. The last hat is a graduation cap, intended for the reader, to let the child know that they can do whatever they set their mind to! This picture book has something for all ages, infant to age 6.

Type of Reading: family reading, anytime reading, playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 1 to 6; read yourself: 7 to 9

Interest Level: 2 to 5

Reading Level: 0.6

Age of Child: Read with 3-year-old and a 5-year-old boys.

Young Reader Reaction: They enjoyed the book, for the most part. This book was too elementary for my 5-year-old, who is an excellent counter. Although he enjoyed it, the book was not challenging. It was fine for my 3 year old, but perhaps a little advanced, because the progression counted down. I would have preferred a book that started at 1 hat and got harder (then 2 hats, then 3 hats, etc.) as the book progressed, rather than counting down. I also don’t think they understood the full significance of the last page. A graduation cap and gown holds no meaning for them at this age. Perhaps it’s a good introduction to the concept.

Adult Reader Reaction: I thought that the overall concept was cute, and well-executed. I think it would have appealed to me more if the # of hats went UP, and I could use it more effectively for working on counting up.

Pros: Cute pictures and animals will to appeal to young kids. Parents will like that they can practice counting work.

Cons: There are some spooky pictures. One of the hats was a knit cap with holes for the eyes, nose, and antlers (he was a snow-plowing reindeer) — the kind of face covering bank robbers wear. The illustration of the hat by itself was a little scary, with the cavities in the hat for eyes etc. Looked very spooky, even to me, like the sand people from Star Wars. I wished it counted UP instead of DOWN.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow! This is a selection for 2- to 3-year olds.


Educational Themes: With preschoolers and toddlers you can connect the hats to jobs; identify animals; and introduce numbers. With preschoolers, you can practice counting.

Notes: The publisher donated a copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, animal characters, counting, math

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2010

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