You Must Bring a Hat By Simon Philip




You Must Bring a Hat is not exactly a serious story with a multitude of deep and meaningful themes to discuss, but it is a lot of fun and sometimes, that’s all we need from a book.


The main character of this story is a small boy who has received an invitation to a party. It is a ‘hat’ party and he is instructed that he MUST bring a hat. Unfortunately, the boy does not own a hat, and it seems all the hat shops are sold out.

Eventually, he finds a monkey wearing a hat and decides it will be good enough if he takes the hat-wearing-monkey with him to the party.

However, upon arrival, it seems there are a few more stipulations to this party…


Why I love it:

This story is fun! It will have your children slapping their foreheads and yelling at the book in humorous frustration and it will have you giggling.

We also have an ongoing, family joke about spiders wearing hats and monocles (don’t ask me why!) so we found You Must Bring a Hat particularly entertaining in that field (this will make more sense when you read the book!).

I found a toffy British accent came quite naturally whilst reading You Must Bring a Hat, and that was fun, too!

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Comedy
  • Laughter
  • Rules
  • Manners
  • Being late
  • Invitations
  • Hosting

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:

  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Where do you think all the people and animals on the cover, are going? What makes you think this?
  • How many hats can you see on the cover?
  • What do you think the ‘problem’ in this story, might be?

After reading:

  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • Did this book annoy you at all? Can you explain.
  • What was your favourite page? Why?
  • Why do you think the invitation asked the boy to try not to be late?
  • How many different animals did the boy end up taking with him?
  • Have you ever been to a party that had rules like this?
  • If you were to have a party, what rule/s would you make?

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