My 3 year old daughter loved The Smart Hat from Cath Jones and Paul Nicholls! Even though it is an early reader, I read it as if it were a picture book. She told me that the end was her favourite bit because it was funny!
Indeed, the story is really quirky.
When the Queen is expecting a smart hat to arrive in the post, and an owl arrives… the Queen is bitterly disappointed. But Owl is perfectly happy to be a hat for the Queen and it soon has everyone admiring the new fashion of Owl hats!
I imagine that children who are reading this themselves, will really enjoy the story. Having worked in schools myself and sat with children listening to them read, I know only too well that some of the stories in early readers can be lacking. Not The Smart Hat – it has the plot of a picture book story, but told in a small number of easy to read words.
Paul Nicholls’s illustrations are bright, fun and colourful. I especially like the night time pictures with all the nocturnal animals, with the beautiful night sky.
The Early Reader has a focus of the ‘ow’ and ‘oo’ phonemes. The book is graded as Blue band on Maverick’s Book Band scale. There is a great quiz at the end of The Smart Hat, to help promote discussion of what happened in the story.