Once Upon a Monday: “Where’s Mary’s Hat?”


“Where’s Mary’s Hat?”
by Stephane Barroux

Simple, simple, simple – that’s what I’m looking
for in a picture book for young children at the 
beginning of the school year. I want a book
with the bare minimum of plot to follow: bright,
bold illustrations; and plenty of silliness. Easy to 
understand and easy to enjoy.

“Where’s Mary’s Hat” fits the bill perfectly. 
Mary the cow has lost her hat. Does the fish,
swimming in the air between two bowls, have
it? No.
Does the elephant who’s jumping rope? No.
Does the pig who’s diving off the diving board?
No. They all have their own hats. (See what I
mean about silliness?) I make up a little song,
“Have you seen my hat?”, which children can sing
along with while patting their heads.

The story has the kind of “surprise ending” 
that’s the best kind – one that preschoolers
can easily see coming, but not too soon. The bear
is flying a kite – but the end of the kite is outside 
the edge of the picture. I wonder what his kite
will turn out to be?

Sadly, this book is out of print, but you can pick 
up a used one on Amazon – it’s also in many libraries.


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