by Pat Scales
In my neck of the woods it seems a little early for Fall Hat Month, but for folks who live in some areas of the country warm hats may well be in order in September. Hats are worn for all kinds of reasons: some people wear them to protect themselves from the hot sun; some wear them to keep their head warm in the winter; some wear them for religious purposes; others wear them simply to accessorize. The Queen of England loves her hats, and the journalists covering the last royal wedding for television and newspapers focused much space on the fascinators worn by female wedding guests.
Hats can be a lot of fun, and library users of all ages should be invited to join in the celebration of Fall Hat Month. Here are a few ideas:
- Read aloud (to all ages) The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss. Lead a discussion about
Bartholomew’s experience in the Kingdom of Didd.
- Ask readers to bring in the oldest hat belonging to their family and tell the hat’s story. Then have them create a five-
frame cartoon strip that explains the significance of the hat.
- Have them write a short story that is about a favorite hat.
- Provide a box of fabric, feathers, beads, etc. and ask older readers to create a fascinator. Have them choose a model
to wear the creation in a runway show.
- Create a hat museum in the library. Ask readers to make a hat for a favorite fictional book character for the museum.
Then have them write a description of the hat and why it’s appropriate for the character. Suggested characters from
Random House include:
Miss Brooks from Miss Brooks Loves Books (picture book) by Barbara Bittner & illus. by Michael Emberley
Grandpa in Song and Dance Man (picture book) by Karen Ackerman & illus. by Stephen Gammell
Widow tulip Jones from Meanwhile Back at the Ranch (picture book) by Anne Isaacs & illus. by Kevin Hawkes
Alex Hart and brother Chuck from Racing the Moon (middle grade) by Alan Armstrong & illus. by Tim Jessell
Gabriel Finley or one of his three friends from Gabriel Finley and the Raven Riddle (middle grade) by George Hagen
Little Man in Paperboy (middle grade) by Vince Vawter
Ophelia Jan Worthington-Whittard from Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy (middle grade) by Karen Foxlee
The ex-governor in Skink (middle grade) by Carl Hiaasen
Crash Coogan from Crash (young adult) by Jerry Spinelli
Pearl DeWitt from Dark Water (young adult) by Laura McNeal
Pearl from Written in Stone (young adult) by Rosanne Parry
Zach in Road Rash (young adult) by Mark Huntley Parsons
- Offer research opportunities for older readers and ask them to find out the type hats worn in historical periods.
Ask them to cite their sources. Then suggest that they read a book set in one historical period and create a cover for
the book with an illustration of an appropriate hat. Suggested books from Random House include:
Storyteller (middle grade) by Patricia Reilly Giff
Woods Runner (young adult) by Gary Paulsen
The Storm Before Atlanta (middle grade) by Karen Schwabach
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Ashes of Roses (young adult) by Mary Jane Auch
World War II
The Eyes of the Emperor (middle grade) by Graham Salisbury