Monday, January 25, 2010

Review #58: Millie's Marvellous Hat

Gracie (age 9):  Millie's Marvellous Hat...
Isaac (age 11):  By Satoshi Kitamura.  This book is about a girl named Millie - and you've probably figured that out already because of the title.  She sees a hat in the store window.  But the hat is $599.99.
Gracie:  Not counting tax.
Isaac:  So the store manager gave her a special hat instead.
Lily (age 6):  A free one.
Gracie:  Millie doesn't have anything in her purse, so the store owner gives her an invisible hat that can be anything.
Isaac:  He's really nice - probably a different hat store owner wouldn't have done that.
Dad:  Which do you think was better?  The $599 one, or the free imaginary one?
Gracie:  The imaginary one.
Isaac:  I would never pay almost $600 for a hat.  If I had that much money, I would use it all on Legos.
Dad:  So what happens next...
Gracie:  Millie goes for a walk.  She sees a cake store, and her hat turns into a cake.  14 cakes on top of each other...  I just counted them.  Then she sees flowers and her hat becomes flowery.
Isaac:  Then when Millie was at the park, she noticed everyone had a hat of their own.  And at the end, her parents had hats too.  The dad had a giant penguin hat.
Elijah (age 4):  I like that penguin hat.
Dad:  Millie had a pretty good imagination.  Who else does?
Gracie:  Sa-tushy Ki-mostra has a good imagination.
Isaac:  It's actually... "Satoshi Kitamura."
Dad:  What do his pictures look like?
Isaac:  How do we explain the art in this book?  Abstract-ish?
Gracie:  He has never used a completely straight line in this whole book.
Isaac:  Well, they are straight.
Dad:  The lines are just all at odd angles to each other.
Isaac:  And they are splotchy.
Gracie:  Thick and thin lines.
Dad:  He varies the line width.
Gracie:  And Millie really pops out.  All the colors are dull except for Millie.  She's bright!
Dad:  What was your favorite hat in the book?  Mine was Millie's peacock hat.
Gracie:  It must have taken him an hour to draw that peacock hat.
Isaac:  I'm not drawing that.
Lily:  It had too much feathers.  That hat would have knocked everyone over.
Dad:  You think it would have actually knocked people down... even though it was imaginary?
Isaac:  I think the animals in the book could see the hats.  Well, the dog saw the cake hat - I know that much.
Gracie:  Its tongue was hanging out.
Dad:  How about you guys?  What was your favorite hat in the book?
Isaac:  My favorite hat was the vacuum cleaner one - that was cool.  That one and the Titanic hat were cool.
Gracie:  I have two favorite hats.  I like the peacock hat before it opens its feathers because it's the prettiest shade of blue in the whole world.  And I also like the Mommy's hat at the end.  It's really pretty.  It's flowers.
Dad:  How about you, Lily?
Gracie:  I know which one Lily would like!  This duck hat.
Lily:  That is a goose.
Dad:  Actually I think it's a swan.
Lily:  Well, I want the little baby swan hat.
Gracie:  Look - there's a safety cone hat.
Isaac:  Awesome!  I want the safety cone hat!
Gracie:  And look -- she's tall and skinny, so she's got a giraffe hat.  And he's short and chubby, so he has a rhinoceros hat.
Dad:  Wow... the hats match the people...  I never even noticed this!  I thought they were random.  But she's balancing packages so she has a hat with a seal balancing a ball.  Oh and look - she's pregnant so she has a kangaroo with a pouch...
Gracie:  And he's very distinguished and rich...
Isaac:  And he's fast like a race car driver...
Lily:  And they are fighting...
Dad:  I never would have noticed that - you guys are so smart!
Elijah:  Look - that's a cool hat!
Dad:  That would be a fun game, wouldn't it?  When we're all in the car waiting for mom to come out of the grocery store, we could imagine different hats on the people walking by based on their personalities.  Let's try it out...  What kind of hat do you think baby sister Evie would have?
Gracie:  A bullhorn!
Isaac:  No -- a hat with oranges!  She loves oranges.
Elijah:  I want a toothpaste marvelous hat!
Dad:  I could do that...  I'd be happy to put toothpaste on your head...
Isaac:  Elijah would have a toilet hat.
Dad:  Ha ha -- yes, we have trouble with Elijah's 4-year-old potty mouth, don't we.
Elijah:  YEAH!  A toilet hat!!!
Dad:  How about mom?
Gracie:  A vacuum cleaner.  Because she feels like she's the only one in the house who cleans up.
Lily:  No!  She would have a picture of her family.
Dad:  Yeah - she loves you guys.  That's one of her most distinguishing features.  How about me -- do you have a hat for me?
Gracie:  A pencil hat!
Dad:  Cool.  I would wear a pencil hat if there was one.
Isaac:  I wonder what the author's hat looks like.
Gracie:  Probably a Millie hat!
Dad:  So he would have a hat of a girl wearing a hat?
Gracie:  I think he should write another book about Millie.  Millie's Marvelous Shoes.  Or Millie's Marvelous Mustache!  Ha ha hahh hah...

Isaac's Marvelous Hat

Elijah's Marvelous Hat

Lily's Marvelous Hat

Gracie's Marvelous Hat

Author/Illustrator: Satoshi Kitamura
Published, 2009: Andersen Press
Like it? Find it


Carrie said...

All of your drawings are awesome this week!

Gracie, I love the animals you have stacked on your hat.

This sounds like a great book!

Heidi Noel said...

Nice drawings. I appreciate the colors, personality and imagination that go into each one. I also like that Elijah participated again.

I love what you said about your mom's hat(s). I think I would be the same, either a miniature of my family or cleaning supplies.

beth said...

I like Isaac's steampunk hat. And it's fun to see Elijah join in.

Oh, congratulations on picking the Caldicott. We read it on your recommendation last week.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering how one can approach you to send you children's books to review. I'm the founder of and we currently have 50 children's books and growing. They are interactive and animated as well, I think you will enjoy. I would be honored to give you free access to all the stories for your review. Please email me at if possible, thanks so much.

Zoe @ Playing by the book said...

My hat today would be a cupboard with everything falling out of it all over the place! (our house is in a big mess!) We loved Millie's marvellous hat (there are few Satoshi Kitamura books that haven't done it for me). Our review is here:

Julie P. said...

Wow! I absolutely love the interview -- too darn cute. And the drawings are wonderful! I'm very impressed with these kiddos!

Z-Kids said...

We really appreciate everyone's comments week to week! It encourages us to know people enjoy the posts, and it keeps us going. Thanks!

Since someone asked, if anyone ever wants to reach us personally with a question or comment, you can email us at zenzart at hotmail dot com

All our best!

Bibliovore said...

I loved this book, so sweet and quirky! It's sitting at home, waiting for me to review it. Now I'm going to have to re-read with all your comments in mind.

ElizT said...

I would like a book hat.

Anonymous said...

The little girl on the book cover sort of reminds me of Madeline. :D

lol I love Isaac's answer: "I would never pay almost $600 for a hat. If I had that much money, I would use it all on Legos."

Adorable illustrations as always.

btw: you won an award at my blog :D

Michelle The Artist said...

Gracie did a great job on her hat! Lilly's looks like a snow globe hat, too cute. Elijah's is just too cute and I think Isaac has a job designing swiss army hats.

Good interview as well, it's fun to hear what children think about a book!

Kristi said...

I stumbled on your blog through MotherReader's comment challenge, and I'm glad I did! I love the whole concept of posting your discussions and fanart for children's books. Your kids are so awesomely creative and talented. This is great!

Miss Pippi said...

Great hats!

Vanessa Brantley Newton said...

Okay little people! I am LOVING ALL these fabulous hats here. I don't which one to wear first. Great hats!

Vicki Smith said...

This is a WONDERFUL post. You've made me want to read Millie's Marvellous Hat plus I love the discussion. It reminded me of how when my son was little and we would take the bus into NYC for an outing we would entertain each other by making up outrageous stories about what was going on in the cars that were whizzing along beside us.

Raising a Happy Child said...

This sounds like the book my three year old might like, and I like the imaginary aspect of it. I am adding it to our reading list.