About the Book:
Title: Hat Cat
Author: Troy Wilson
Illustrator: Eve Coy
Pub. Date: February 22, 2022
Beagles and Books is excited to share a review and giveaway for Hat Cat. Special thanks to author Troy Wilson for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
An elderly man’s daily pleasure is sitting on his back deck with peanuts on his hat for the squirrels. One morning, he finds not a squirrel, but a cat under his hat. The cat, now named Hat, becomes the man’s constant companion except when he goes outside to feed the squirrels. What if Hat ran away or scared the squirrels? Not willing to risk either scenario, Hat remains in the house. This illustration just tugs my heart as Hat paws the window while his person enjoys his time with the squirrels.
One day, after giving Hat food and affection, the man leaves and does not return. Alone for a few days, Hat is finally greeted by a woman and her daughter who take care of him, and just like the old man, they firmly close the door upon leaving. This illustration of the young girl wearing the old man’s hat as she and her mother depart makes me chuckle, but my heart breaks for lonely Hat.
On another day, the young girl leaves the door wide open for Hat. When he ventures outside, can he be trusted?
Hat Cat is a charming story about the relationship between an old man and a rescue cat. While the cat was curious about the outside, he is loyal because he loves the man who gives him shelter, food, and love. Wilson’s gentle, melodic text and Coy’s warm, expressive illustrations give this quiet story so much life. The soft cadence of the text makes the story is a joy to read aloud and kids quickly picked up on some of the repetitive phrases. Coy’s artwork shows the depth of their relationship, for the man’s face lights up in all his interactions with Hat and Hat reveals his emotions ranging from joyful and content to scared and worried. My favorite illustration of all is of the young girl quietly sharing with the man that Hat is trustworthy.
When I read aloud Hat Cat to a class of kindergarten students, they clapped when the man returned home and noticed he was wearing his hat. They asked, “Did the little girl give it back to the man?” I loved their questioning because the children were making inferences based on the illustrations. As a reading specialist, I greatly appreciate picture books like Hat Cat because they that provide opportunities for kids to make connections and think. While we at Beagles and Books are partial books featuring dogs, Hat Cat makes us realize that cats are pretty cool too.
About the Author:
Troy Wilson is the author of nine picture books with five publishers, as well as 16 stories for kids’ magazines. His many summers as a camp counselor taught him a lot about life, the universe, and everything. He lives in Victoria, BC, Canada.