cover image Keep Your Old Hat

Keep Your Old Hat

Anna Grossnickle Hines. Dutton Books, $8.95 (24pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44299-8

Once again, Hines perfectly captures a slice of the life of an average preschooler. Sarah, Mandy and Ben are playing dress-up. Bossy Mandy thinks that because she is the oldest, she should be the mother and wear the hat. Sarah declares her independence, even at the price of having to play by herself. Sarah and her doll, Abigail, have a tea party by themselves, and Mandywith Ben trailing behindis forced to join in as an equal player. This sort of story might seem trivial to adult readers, but children are constantly engaged in complex negotiations and power struggles like the one depicted here. The reader can empathize with Sarah's bid for freedom from Mandy's tyranny and will cheer the way in which she finally solves her problem. Ages 4-6. (September)