What happened to my hat?’ asked the farmer.
‘I had a fine hat, a well-worn hat,
that smelled of hay and grass and sweat.
The farmer’s hat has gone walkabout, lifted by the wind. The animals help by telling him where it’s been but they can not tell him where it is now, because it keeps blowing further. The farmer tells the life of the hat and why it’s important that he find it. But it’s not the same hat that returns to him…it’s subtly altered and brings with it a special surprise. Illustrations in country colours show an Australian farm, in the hot summer and in the memories of the farmer.
There is plenty to look for as the story of the farmer’s lost hat unfolds. Not only can the track of the floating, flying hat be seen, but there are lambs being born, paddocks lush and green, sheep catching a ride on the tractor, a dog ‘skiing’ behind the tractor and more. ‘The Farmer’s Hat’ is told in gentle rhyme with a refrain repeated throughout, ‘The wind took it whooshing and whirling.’ Only at the end does the reader discover that the wind was bringing the rain. This ending encourages the reader to go back and look for the signs of drought that are certainly there, although the narrative mentions only the affection and memories the farmer attaches to the hat. Recommended for preschool and early primary-aged children.
The Farmer’s Hat, Kim L. Barnes & Andrew Joyner
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author www.clairesaxby.com