Thursday, April 7, 2016

Jennie's Hat by Ezra Jack Keats

This is a cute little book about a girl obsessed with fancy hats at the moment. Although it never directly says a date, this book takes place in spring, and therefore probably takes place around Easter, when a new hat would be terribly important. 

Jennie has a vivid imagination, so when she hears that her aunt is sending her a hat, you can tell Jennie has high hopes for the new hat. 
(Ezra Jack Keats is a marvelous illustrator. Her dress! So mod and 1966-ish.) 

Her utter disgust at the plain hat she received from her aunt. 

Her attempts at finding a more interesting hat.

Thinking about hats is interrupted by the clock. At three o'clock every Saturday, Jennie goes to the park to feed the birds. The birds are expecting her, so go she must even if she hasn't a glorious new hat. 

Funny story about this picture--our doctor's office has this illustration as a print on the wall of their waiting room. I have always loved it and have wondered who it was by. One day, I was cleaning the kids room and I saw this book. I opened it up to this page and lo and behold! there was the picture I had been googling and searching for! I felt terribly lucky.  

Buying books at a library book sale for 25¢ means bulk quantities. With so many books to go through, I don't carefully look at each one. If the author's name is as recognizable as Ezra Jack Keats, I know it will be worth having without having to read it.  A lot of books get brought home and set on the shelf without me really knowing the book.  

Think of all the delightful things that are possibly hanging out on my bookshelf without me knowing it!
 It makes me feel rich. 

Delightful spring picture!

I love her pouty little face! You can just feel her indignation at not having the hat of her hopes and imaginings. It is such a universal kid feeling--maybe not the hat part, but the yearning for something and the frustration at not being able to have it/do it because you are too little/too poor/too unlearned.

Poor Jennie. 

Sunday morning, Jennie peeps out her window at all the fabulous hats going by. 

At church, sitting there in her plain hat, she is surrounded by flower garden hats. 

As they leave the church, Jennie notices some birds flying close by. 

A la Cinderella, these birds come to help their friend out. Bringing flowers and little trinket's they have found, they make Jennie's hat the most flowery and elaborate one of all.

I love the way Keats draws these birds.

A nest of baby birds is the crowning touch. Now Jenny is satisfied with her hat. 

She takes it home and wraps it up so she can remember it always. 

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