The Hat, “Animals Wear That?!”


“You ridiculous little hedgehog,” she laughed. “Don’t you know that animals don’t wear clothes!”

Jan Brett is one of the most well known and loved children’s book author illustrators with thirty nine million books in print. We have read most of her titles and among them, The Hat and The Mitten are two of our favorites. Both books are among her most popular work and here’s why:

Introducing Our Featured Friend: The Hat
by Jan Brett

With winter approaching, Lisa took out her woolen clothes and hung them on the line. When a gust of wind carried her stocking away, an animal adventure began . . .  Hedgie poked his nose into the stocking and it got stuck on his prickly head! Embarrassed, he tried to maintain dignity as he passed the mother hen, Gander, the barn cat, the farm dog, mama pig and piglets, and the pony on his way to his den. He was ready to be alone after enduring everyone’s laughter while he explained to each friend that his “new hat” would keep him warm, cozy and dry this winter.

Finally Lisa caught up to Hedgie and rescued him by removing her stocking from his prickles while she laughed and exclaimed, “Don’t you know that animals don’t wear clothes!” But when she headed back, all her woolens were missing from the clothesline. . . and all the animals were wearing them on their heads!

The animals had taken them and each was thinking,
“Now I am wearing a magnificent hat!”

Hedgie watched Lisa chasing them as he reached his den and thought,

“How ridiculous they look!
Don’t they know that animals should never wear clothes!”

I can’t help but laugh as I think about how almost anything can be in style if you wear it with confidence! Jan Brett captures a cute story while weaving themes of curiosity, adventure, confidence, trend setting, and simply fun all throughout the story! Can’t wait to share the companion, The Mitten next!

 Inviting You to Become FRIENDS with Hedgie:
eel, Relate, Imagine, Explore, Navigate, Develop, Share

Select a few questions to discuss from the kid-friendly book guide while reading The Hat with your kids or class:

F- How did you feel or emphasize with Hedgie when he was embarrassed  passing by all of his friends while wearing a sock on his head?

R- Can you relate to feeling embarrassed like Hedgie felt? Can you relate to trying to appear confident even though you may do or wear something that doesn’t blend in or fit in with other people?

I- Imagine you lived on this lovely Scandinavian farm pictured in this story. Look at all the details Jan Brett paints. What part of the scenery captures your interest most?

E- Explore “the garden island” of Fuenan, the home of Hans Christian Andersen in Denmark as this is where Jan Brett traveled to sketch the scenes for this story!

N- Navigate through the incredible activities (games, printables, crafts and more) for The Hat at

D- Develop your own “new trend”! Design a piece of clothing for winter (on paper, with material or other crafty items) that you haven’t seen anyone where yet . . .at least not in the way you wear it. Be creative. Have fun!

S- Share Jan Brett with your school or library by entering her annual contest on Facebook:

Illustrations from The Hat:

(Images from Google Search)

Related Posts:
Shall I Knit You a Hat?
The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

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1 Response to The Hat, “Animals Wear That?!”

  1. I love Jan Brett’s work! She is, by far, one of my favorite illustrators. She is the master at foreshadowing and I’ve been sharing her stories with my students for many years. There is really no one I could compare to her illustration style in picture books. ♡ Her voice exudes intricate details.

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