February 6, 2014

Mr. Zinger’s Hat by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Dusan Petricic

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 1:16 am by suebe2

Mr. Zinger’s Hat
by Cary Fagan
illustrated by Dusan Petricic
Tundra Books

Every day after school, Leo takes his ball out into the courtyard.  Every day, he bounces it off the high brick wall, playing catch with himself.  Every day, he sees Mr. Zinger, walking quietly around the courtyard, head bent in thought.  Leo is under mother’s orders to leave Mr. Zinger alone because Mr. Zinger is a writer and he’s busy thinking up new stories.

One day, Leo throws his ball higher than ever before.  It bounces off the wall, over his head, and knocks off Mr. Zinger’s big black hat.  The wind catches the hat and Leo chases it around and around, stopping only when the hat lands on his own head.

Mr. Zinger wonders aloud what made his hat take off like that.  Maybe it has a new story inside?  He encourages Leo to draw out this new tale about a boy who lives in a castle.  It takes a minute, and some encouragement from Mr. Zinger before Leo’s realizes that this wasn’t Mr. Zinger’s story.  It was his.

When Mr. Zinger goes inside to write, Leo goes back to his ball game.  Again, the ball sails over his head but this time it is caught by a girl.  Together they play catch, they run and they share a snack.  Then Leo shows her his baseball cap.  It seems to have a story inside.

But whose story is it?   You’ll have to read the book to find out.

As always, I love Petricic’s creative art work, especially the difference styles he uses to depict Leo and Mr. Zinger vs the world of Leo’s story.  Then, he comes up with a slightly different look for the final story.  It is only one frame but it is enough to encourage a young story teller to continue the tale.

This wasn’t a hilarious romp of a tale and I’m not sure how well it would work for story time.  That said, it would be an excellent lap read for any adult who wants to encourage a creative young mind.  This is a gentle, quiet story but also a story with a certain quiet power.


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