Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Brimsby’s Hats

Prahin, Andrew (Author/Illustrator)
Simon & Schuster 2014. 40 pages
First published: 2014
ISBN: 9781442481473 (hardcover)
9781442481480 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

Brimsby is a hat maker who lives alone in a quiet cottage in the country. He enjoys tea and wonderful conversations with his best friend, a badger. Until the day his friend sets off to be a sea captain. Feeling quite lonely, Brimsby decides to look for new companions. Some busy birds find time to chat and share tea with him after he cleverly fashions cozy houses for them made from hats. And together they even set off over the horizon to visit his old friend Badger.

Computer-generated illustrations in a muted palette make marvellous use of composition, telling a visual story that is sophisticated and moving. When Brimsby and his friend converse, we see round pictures that resemble speech bubbles, filled with dragons, pirates and giant flying birds. A beautiful sequence of Brimsby, sewing hats alone, with the seasons passing outside his window, illustrates his loneliness with incredible poignancy. Variety in the visual storytelling, with close-ups and sweeping landscapes, make for an engaging read.

Language is simple but lovely, accompanying the images with grace and delicately expressing the feelings of connection, loss and rekindling of friendship. “It was quiet. Very quiet. Too quiet. One day the hat maker realised he had become awfully lonely.”

A heartwarming story of creativity and friendship.

  •  

    Brainstorm the traits of a good friend under the headings [Is], [Does] and [Says]. As you read, reflect on how the characters are good friends.

  •  What do you think the pictures in the speech bubbles stand for? Brainstorm what the characters might be saying.
  •  

    Imagine you are one of the birds. Draw yourself in the hat-house you would like. Elaborate on your ideas by adding labels and speech bubbles.

  •  With a group, write a sentence about the purpose of friendship. Create a class poem by combining your sentences.
  •  

    Discuss the qualities of a good friend. In what ways are your own friends wonderful? Write a class definition of friendship.

  •  

    Go for a picture walk and notice how the illustrations are organized. Discuss the content of the pictures.

  •  

    Listen as the story is read aloud. Compare the picture story with the written story.

  •  

    Create a hat or a hat birdhouse. Write a description of how and why it could be used.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Health and Well-Being