About the Holiday
Hats are great for cold days, days when you want to dress up or express a certain fashion statement, or to cover up a bad do or bedhead. Today’s holiday may spur you to learn how to knit a hat or inspire you to invite your friends to a crazy hat-designing party! Make a Hat Day also shares the spotlight with Felt Hat Day, which exhorts people to rediscover an old and cherished fashion accessory.
Hooray for Hat!
By Brian Won
Elephant wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. He’s hardly had a chance to fully shake off sleep when the doorbell rings. He clomps down the stairs yelling, “‘Go away! I’m grumpy!’” But there’s no one at the door. Instead Elephant finds a prettily wrapped present on his doorstep. Unwrapping it Elephant finds the grandest hat he’s ever seen. It has everything – A pompom, a star, a feather, a mortar board with a tassel, a crown, a coo-coo clock bird, and even a cup holder! Elephant puts it on. How can he be grumpy with such a hat on his head? He can’t! “‘Hooray for Hat!’” he cheers and goes off to show Zebra.
Elephant finds Zebra sitting alone on a tree stump. She doesn’t even turn around when her friend approaches. “‘Go away! I’m grumpy!’” she states. Elephant removes the top hat from his own new chapeau—a party hat with the pompom—and gently places it on Zebra’s head. Zebra can’t help but smile. “‘Hooray for Hat!’” they both cheer and head out for Turtle’s house.
Oh, but Turtle is so grumpy that they won’t even come out of their shell. Elephant lifts down the cowboy hat with the star and feather from his own towering hat and gives it to his pal. Out pops Turtle who proudly joins the parade. “‘Hooray for Hat!’” they all cheer and march off to show Owl. “But Owl did not want to see them or their hats. “‘Go Away! I’m grumpy!’” she hoots from her tree trunk hole.
But Elephant is as wise as Owl, and thinks the striped mortar board is just the thing to change her mood. “‘Hoo-Hoo-Hooray for Hat!’” Owl says, leading the way to find Lion. But Lion’s frowning face peers out at them from his den, and he shoos the group away with the familiar “‘Go Away! I’m Grumpy!’” Down comes the golden crown from Elephant’s hat and while Lion loves it, he’s more concerned with their friend Giraffe who isn’t feeling well. “‘What can we do?’” Lion asks the group.
They all know exactly what to do. They pack up the very special hat and take it to Giraffe, who is standing with her head hidden in a treetop. “Do Not Disturb” reads the sign hanging on the trunk. But as soon as Giraffe dons that hat, a toothy smile breaks out, and the six best buddies cheer, “‘Hooray for Friends!’”
Brian Won’s joyful celebration of the power of surprise, friendship, and a great hat is a day brightener for anyone, whether they wake up grumpy or feeling fine. His adorable animal friends don’t mind a little grumpiness—they’ve experienced it themselves—but only want to make each other happier. The repeated phrasing throughout the story invites kids to read along, and the absence of pronouns offers open interpretation and inclusiveness. The confetti-colored hats will make kids smile and the tribute to friendship will have them cheering along with this fun picture book.
A cheer-ful book, Hooray for Hat! would make a happy addition to children’s libraries for those days when they need a little more encouragement or inspiration. Kids will want to get together with Elephant, Zebra, Turtle, Owl, Lion, and Giraffe again and again and will no doubt love to create a magnificent hat of their own!
Ages 3 – 7
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers, 2014 | ISBN 978-0544159037
Visit the world of Brian Won on his website
Hooray for this book trailer!
Make a Hat Day Activity
Hats Off to You! Matching Game
Can you match the pairs of identical hats? Of course you can!
- Printable Hats Off to You! Game Card page
- Print 2 pages of the Hats Off to You! game cards (or more to make the game harder)
- Cut the cards apart
- Shuffle the cards
- Lay the cards face down on a table
- By turning one card over at a time, find all the matching pairs