There’s just a nice ring to “Mr. Zinger’s Hat,” don’t you agree? Well, Mr. Zinger’s Hat ($17.95, Tundra books, Ages 4 and up), written by Cary Fagan, is a story about Leo, a boy whose ball knocks a hat off an old man’s head – Mr. Zinger’s head of course.
The hat blows around the school courtyard in the wind, as do the words on the page. When Leo gets hold of the hat, old man Zinger invites the boy to sit with him for a while. Mr. Zinger convinces Leo that there is a story inside that hat that needs to come out. So the old man starts to tell a story and cleverly gets the boy to use his imagination to add his own details and help shape the outcome. After Mr. Zinger leaves the boy to write a story of his own back in his office, Leo befriends a girl who happens by. You’ll have to read the story to find out how Leo shares with the girl what he learned from Mr. Zinger.
What’s nice about this book is that it inspires young children to use their imaginations. There’s also a subtle, yet valuable lesson to be learned in the story Leo creates with the old man. You’ll enjoy the imaginative illustrations, too, by award-winning illustrator, Dusan Petricic, that truly enhance this unusual story.
Creativity is an essential part of childhood and of life. So if you are looking for a book to stir your child’s imagination, I suggest you look inside Mr. Zinger’s Hat.
– Reviewed by Debbie Glade