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Mr. Zinger's Hat    by Cary Fagan & Dusan Petricic order for
Mr. Zinger's Hat
by Cary Fagan
Order:  USA  Can
Tundra, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Mr. Zinger's Hat, by Cary Fagan, and ably illustrated by Dusan Petricic is not really about a hat, but rather about stories and storytellers.

One of them is Leo, a boy who bounces his ball off a courtyard wall every day after school. Every day he sees Mr. Zinger, small, old and elf-like shuffling along in his black suit and hat. Leo's mother warns him not to disturb Mr. Zinger, who's working, 'making up stories'.

Then one afternoon, Leo's ball bounces off the wall and takes Mr Zinger's hat right off his head! When Leo runs after it, it's swirled in the wind to eventually land on Leo's own head. As they sit down on a bench after all the excitement, Mr Zinger discovers 'a story trying to get out' of his hat!

As the story emerges, both storytellers - young and old - form and shape it. And after Mr. Zinger leaves to write his own stories, Leo makes a new friend, Sophie. When he finds a story in his cap for her, they form and shape it together.

There is more text than usual for a picture book in this age range (4 and up). Nevertheless Mr. Zinger's Hat is a fine tale about how stories take shape and the marvels that can come out from under the hats of storytellers of all ages.

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