Annie has misplaced a very special hat. “It’s the one I wear to the moon. The hat I put on so I can turn into a dog like Boomer,” she says. Locating this unique and irreplaceable item isn’t easy, and it takes both teamwork and imagination to recover it. With the help of her grandparents, her brothers, and her dog Boomer, Annie leads a family search party and learns about cooperation and problem solving along the way.
Annie’s Lost Hat, author Korrel Kanoy’s debut effort, proves engaging and accessible from the first page to the last. Characters interact with warmth and good humor, and the story provides gentle lessons and reminders about teamwork, optimism, and maintaining a positive attitude. Annie’s distress at the loss of her special hat is eased by her grandmother’s calm and proactive response as she encourages Annie to enlist the help of other family members. “We’ll form a search party—that’s what people do when they’re hunting down something so important,” she suggests, and Annie finds comfort in her family’s support. Their cooperation soon pays off; by the end of the story, the family is triumphant in their combined efforts and Annie has learned much about collaboration and responsibility.
With simple, direct language that readers of all ages can easily follow, author Kanoy, who holds a master’s degree and a doctorate in child development and family studies, puts her impressive credentials to use in Annie’s Lost Hat. Subtly educational and consistently entertaining, the story will captivate its target audience of two- to six-year-olds from start to finish. Tamica Phillips’ bright, cheerful illustrations are eye-catching and inviting, giving parents the opportunity to encourage children to search the vibrantly detailed pages themselves for signs of the lost hat.
Kanoy includes a brief but comprehensive section for adults in the last few pages, which offers suggestions for parent/child interaction and activities. This section is split into two main categories that explore child development and emotional intelligence and provide clearly written information and ideas for encouraging imagination and cognitive development. Kanoy addresses the subjects of a young child’s fears and frustrations as well as ways in which to help them deal with emotional situations. She suggests that adults set a positive example to promote optimistic attitudes and teach problem solving techniques. “If we model these behaviors, our children will learn them!” she writes.
Annie’s Lost Hat is a charming and often amusing tale, skillfully written and illustrated, that is sure to provide plenty of opportunity for both learning and fun. Appropriate for a home bedtime story or a classroom of preschoolers, it offers much to stimulate discussion and encourage children to both think and imagine.