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The Singing Hat

by Tohby Riddle

Reviewed September 30, 2002.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2000.  32 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (E RID)

This book works on two levels.  It’s a simple story for kids, but it’s also a fun fable for adults.  The pictures are interesting—sort of a combination of ink drawings with photo collage.

Colin Jenkins takes a long nap by a tree one afternoon, and a bird builds a nest on his head.  He decides not to disturb the bird, and it ends up disturbing his life.  “People divided into two groups:  those who didn’t seem to mind what he had on his head, and those who did.”  He loses his job and has trouble finding another.

After the egg hatches and the bird flies away (There’s more to the adventure than that, of course.), I like the ending:  “Although he never saw either bird again, from time to time he would find the most beautiful and improbable things in the nest he had placed on the table by his window in his room.”

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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