Tag Archives: family time

That’s Not a Hat! by Marti Fuerst (Book Review)


It’s time to run errands, but Daddy has lost his hat! He tries to find a new hat at each of the stores the family visits, but he can’t seem to get it right.

Predictable and repetitive text makes That’s Not a Hat! accessible and engaging for emerging readers. Simple and colorful illustrations reminiscent of mid-century modern children’s books are sure to make this a favorite.

Grade Reader: PreK – 3

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 


We’ve all probably heard the saying, “A parent’s job is never done.” It’s true. Cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, tending to animals, and chauffeuring kids to playdates and practices are just a drop in the bucket of activities that keep parents go…go…going. The dad in this adorable children’s book is having one heckuva busy day, running errand after errand. He does it all with a smile and a funny attitude. 

At the grocery store, he places a bundle of bananas on his head. He set the most unusual sea animal at the pet shop on his head. An octopus! I hope he didn’t feel the octopus’s beak! The trio visited the hardware store, garden center, bakery, and haberdasher. Each pitstop gives children a reason to smile. 

After the finale, the author highlighted a variety of hats. The collage includes familiar hat names like pirate, baseball, and wizard. I was impressed with the lesser-known hat titles; at least they were lesser known to me: sou’wester, slouch, and pork pie. There were twenty-eight hats in total. There would be plenty of more to list during discussion time. 

The delightful children’s book has simple, repetitive text. It would make an excellent book for young readers to practice skills on. For non-solo readers, the repetitive action will encourage their participation as well. 

I recommend That’s Not My Hat! to children two years through third grade. It blends new and familiar words. FYI: Haberdasher is one of the new words, but picture clues should help older kids decipher its meaning. The illustrations are fantastic! The story as a whole is outstanding!

Get your copy today! 

Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

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Meet the Author

Marti Fuerst is a former librarian and English/Language arts teacher, artist, technical writer, and author of That’s Not a Hat! Marti has been drawing since she could first hold a pencil. One of her earliest works (permanent marker on drywall) is still on display on the wall of her childhood home. She loves history, the mildly spooky, making art, and goofing around with her kids. She also has an interesting collection of hats. Marti lives with her family in New Hampshire.
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Grandma’s Kitchen by Tricia Gardella (Book Review)



I received a complimentary copy of this book from Reedsy Discovery. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.


Most grandchildren share a similar memory of working alongside a grandparent in the kitchen. In Grandma’s Kitchen by Tricia Gardella, Grandma’s oldest granddaughter had been quite the helper during past canning seasons, but now it’s time to include her little sister, Monica. The older sister is reluctant to have Monica join them. She believes her baby sister is too little. Oh boy, Monica proved her older sister wrong!

Through beautiful illustrations, we watch the two young girls and their grandmother pick a few buckets of tomatoes from the garden. We watch them separate them into two piles and learn the reasoning behind the step. After the sorting, it’s time to prepare the tomatoes for their new home: glass jars. You can expect to get a little messy whether you are canning tomatoes whole or making jars of tomato sauce. My advice, goggles! I’m sure Monica will ask for a pair before next year’s canning season. While the process is messy and hard work, it can be loads of fun too. For instance, my kids find turning the crank fun and love watching the crushed tomatoes ooze out at the end. The sisters in the educational picture book did as well! 

Grandma makes the whole process an exciting event. She is calm and patient with them, allows them to taste the fruit of their labor (tomato juice), and even finds the energy to dance a jig. Wow, their grandmother has more energy than me. 

The fabulous thing about canning is that you don’t need a humungous kitchen. All you need is a garden item(s) to can (purchase or grow your own), cans (glass jars), and a few kitchen staples, such as pots, strainers, and pantry items. Grandma’s are optional, but an adult is necessary due to potential hazards to little hands: hot stove and boiling water. 

With grandma’s guidance, children will learn how to can tomatoes: picking, sorting, seasoning, cooking the fruit, washing, and storing the cans. This book will encourage children to try canning fruit and other items.  

I recommend this story to 4 years of age and older. 


Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤

Meet the Author

Tricia’s books are influenced by ranch, animals and family life. She has tried it all, and almost mastered some: canning, cooking, knitting, fiber arts, rug-making, gardening. She has a BA in Ancient History and lots of grand children, giving her much food for thought. She lives in California.


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