Too Many Hats (My First Reader) by Hilda Offen

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Too Many Hats (My First Reader) by Hilda Offen

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Category: Emerging Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A good early reading book, broken into short chapters, that's perfect for Key Stage One children who are just starting to progress with their reading.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 80 Date: May 2013
Publisher: Troika Books
ISBN: 978-0957301337

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It can be difficult, sometimes, to find a good story that an emerging reader can try to read themselves. I know some of the books my daughter has brought home from school to read have had the most boring plots ever! This is an example of a good early reader however. It's a funny story about princesses and hats and a cat.

Princess Paloma isn't allowed to have a pet. There's a rule in the palace (because of a bad experience the King had when he was a little boy) that there are no pets allowed! One day, however, a big cat arrives on Princess Paloma's windowsill and she names the cat Hattie, or Hat for short. Princess Paloma is so happy to have a cat of her own to take care of, especially since Hattie is a talking cat, but then one day, Hattie disappears!

Now, Princess Paloma isn't my favourite princess because she is rather prone to screaming tantrums! So when she can't find Hattie she has a screaming fit with her parents, begging for her 'Hat' to be found. I would have sent her to the naughty spot straight away, but the King and Queen pander to their little one. Anyway, parenting issues aside, since they don't know about Hattie they misunderstand and believe that Princess Paloma actually has lost a hat and so they send the soldiers out into town to collect up all the hats. Poor Peter, the Laundry boy, is sent along with them to carry all the many, many hats in his laundry cart. The townsfolk aren't too happy at surrendering their hats, and as Peter pushes his very full, very heavy cart up the hill they follow along. On the way, Peter meets Hattie the cat and she helps him push the cart up the hill to the palace and then climbs in along with all the hats. Once they reach the palace, all the hats are tipped all over the floor!

Of course, more confusion ensues as Princess Paloma starts shouting that she didn't want a hat she wanted her hat, and nobody knows what she's talking about, until suddenly a top hat starts moving across the floor and when the Princess picks the hat up, there is Hattie the cat! There is more confusion when all the townsfolk arrive, shouting for their hats back, but Peter has the bright idea of throwing an impromtu party to reunite everyone with their hats. Everything ends happily with the King deciding Princess Paloma can keep Hattie after all, and Peter the Laundry Boy gets promoted to Royal Cat Keeper!

The story is well written. It isn't a horribly simplified plot as there's a lot going on, but the vocabulary isn't too daunting and everything is easy to follow. It's funny too, so that makes it more interesting to read, and the whole story is divided into nine short chapters, which breaks it up nicely for those that read more easily in brief spurts. Each page is illustrated, with black and white line drawings, and they help move the story along and also help readers to figure out what's happening if they're struggling with any words. My daughter is six and was reading this without any problems and she said she enjoyed the story.

I'm not so sure that six year old boys would want to read it, since it deals with a Princess, although perhaps the cat, and Peter the Laundry boy, would allow them to keep going without losing face! It works, too, as a read aloud book to share, so you could always get your child to read one or two chapters themselves, and then you could finish the story with them. Recommended for those in Key Stage one who are past the short picture book stage and wanting to get their teeth into something a little bit longer.

You might also like to try The Three Little Witches by Georgie Adams and Emily Bolam

Buy Too Many Hats (My First Reader) by Hilda Offen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Too Many Hats (My First Reader) by Hilda Offen at

Buy Too Many Hats (My First Reader) by Hilda Offen at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Too Many Hats (My First Reader) by Hilda Offen at


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