So, you know I love a good themed bookshelf… But I love even more books that can be used for one theme, but might also be used for another theme or read throughout the year, regardless of season, holiday, or lesson. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas, is one of those books! Read on to see why this book is so wonderful and applicable for many themes and seasons.
Let’s start with the plot of A Hat for Mrs. Goldman. On the first page, we meet Sophia and her neighbor Mrs. Goldman, both of whom Karas has illustrated in soft pictures in muted tones, which run through most of the book (the tones of the illustrations change slightly when Sophia overcomes her obstacle and excitement abounds). We learn quickly that Sophia and Mrs. Goldman spend a lot of time together, and that this time seems largely focused on making hats to give to others (Mrs. Goldman knits, and Sophia makes yarn pom-poms for decorations). But then, when they go to walk Mrs. Goldman’s dog, Sophia starts to fret that “Mrs. Goldman’s keppie must be cold.”
Sophia worries and worries and worries some more about Mrs. Goldman’s poor, cold head. And then she gets an idea! Mrs. Goldman spends so much time focusing on giving to others… Sophia can take some time and focus on giving to Mrs. Goldman! I’ll stop there rather than give the story away, but trust me, this is one to read now all the way through the winter!
So what themes or seasons are applicable in A Hat for Mrs. Goldman? Let’s start with the obvious — winter! This is a delightful book about winter and cold! But it is so, so much more than just that. It’s a book about generosity and selflessness. It hits on themes of gratitude, creativity, and perseverance. We get a small cultural introduction to Jewish tradition and Yiddish and Hebrew words. We’re inspired to know our neighbors and grow our communities. And, if you feel so compelled after reading this book, you can follow Edwards’s directions to knit and decorate your own hat!
Publishers recommend for ages 4-8.
If you liked this, check out:
- The Girl and the Bicycle by Mark Pett — You can read my full review here.
- Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco — You can read my full review here.
- What Is Given From the Heart by Patricia McKissack, illustrated by April Harrison
- Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora — You can read my mini review here.
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