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Author: Melanie Turner-Denstaedt

Illustrator: Frank Morrison

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Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux,

Material: hard cover

Summary: When all the ladies wear their hats to church, Clara B. wants her grandmother's. Even though it is too big for her, she is determined to find a way to wear it. They all go to the grandmother's house for lunch and she is able to find a way to put it on her head. All does not go well and it gets messed up. In the end, grandma buys Clara B a hat that matches her own. This is a picture book story that offers lessons in creative problem solving, accepting consequences, and love.

Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, playtime reading, read aloud book

Recommended Age: read together: 3 to 7; read yourself: 8 to 10

Interest Level: 3 to 8

Reading Level: 3.9

Age of Child: Read with a 5-year-old girl.

Young Reader Reaction: My daughter picked this book because of the little girl's name. She thought that Clara B. was cute and wanted to see what the story was all about. She gasped when Clara B. has trouble with the hat. She added that Clara B. was going to get into trouble and she didn’t want to read that part. Of course she did read it but the story was well written because it made her feel like Clara B. was a real little girl. She enjoyed the pictures as they looked more like beautiful artwork.

Adult Reader Reaction: I enjoyed the pictures and the story was cute. I did not like that Clara B. didn’t get into trouble when she hurt her grandmothers hat. It was almost like she got rewarded because her grandmother bought her one just like her own. I enjoyed watching my daughter react to the story. When Clara B. put the hat on her head my daughter's face lit up and she said “she finally got to try it on.”

Pros: Beautiful pictures, an endearing little girl, and a believable story combine to create a book that all kids will relate to.

Cons: It was disappointing that Clara B was rewarded for taking something without asking.

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is a delightful story and the illustrations are beautiful.

If You Liked This Book, Try: PARTY PRINCESS (Teach Your Children Well Series)   GRANDMA's TREASURE CHEST   STINKY (TOON BOOKS)

Educational Themes: Kids will easily see themselves in Clara B. There are opportunities to talk about feelings (i.e., really wanting something), choices and consequences, and asking permission - even if it's family.

Notes: A Reading Tub volunteer submitted this review. S/He borrowed the book from the local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - picture book, family, growing up, multicultural, life lessons, grandparents

Date(s) Reviewed: July 2009

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews at and No reader feedback found.


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