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[Monday Reading] Missing Hat, Handbag, Plus A Dish And A Spoon

"The Mystery Hat," "The Queen's Handbag," and "And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon."


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

Since it is a tad difficult to find crime-related picturebooks (sounds oxymoronic, really), I had to settle for mysteriously missing objects such as the ones I found below from the library.

The Mystery Hat

Written by: Rune Brandt Bennicke and Jakob Hjort Jensen Illustrated by: Jakob Hjort Jensen
Published by: Sky Pony Press (2014)
ISBN: 1629146218 (ISBN13: 9781629146218). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Three good friends, the Crow, the Pig, and the Beaver chanced upon a knitted hat lying in a puddle as they were strolling through the woods on a late winter morning.

The question now is whose hat is this? The plot thickens as Crow immediately declared that it is Bear’s Hat. Crow went on to envision a whole narrative that involved Bear falling down a hole and losing his hat in the process, culminating into a frenzied worry about Bear’s plight and well-being.

Beaver has another hypothesis involving Snow People, their friend Turtle, and a massive fight that can end potentially in turtle broth; hence Turtle has to be rescued immediately!

Pig was the only one who came up with a hypothesis based on factual events that the friends have just recently experienced – making it the more plausible explanation as to who the owner of the mysterious hat is. I remember reading this picturebook two years ago, and not being that taken with it. My recent re-reading, however, made me appreciate the narrative better.

Beaver and Crow’s made-up narrative, while implausible, is reminiscent of how very young children would often make up stories – blurring the boundaries of fiction and reality, such that one is not easily discernible from the other. I like its circuitous twists and turns, and how the mystery was solved in the end. Whose mystery hat it is, I shall leave for you all to discover.

The Queen’s Handbag

Written and Illustrated by: Steve Antony
Published by: Hodder Children’s Books (2015)
ISBN: 1444925520 (ISBN13: 9781444925524)Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

A naughty swan has taken Her Majesty, the Queen’s purse, as she was about to take a tour of Great Britain.

Naturally, the Queen wouldn’t have any of it. She chased the swan along Great Britain’s major sights including the Stonehenge, Windsor Castle, Snowdonia, and even the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland (which I was privileged to visit a few weeks ago!).

Think of this book as a fun primer to the major sights of Great Britain. Whether the Queen’s handbag was, at all, recovered, I shall leave for you to find out.

And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon

Written by: Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel Illustrated by: Janet Stevens
Published by: Harcourt Inc (2001)
ISBN: 0152022988 (ISBN13: 9780152022983). Literary Award: Colorado Book Award for Children’s Literature (2002), California Young Readers Medal for Picture Books for Older Readers (2004), Irma Black Award Nominee (2002). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Among the three picturebooks shared today, this is my favourite. The story begins with the much-loved nursery rhyme of the same title – except that Dish and Spoon never returned – which alarmed the Cat, the Cow, and the Dog tremendously – well, the Cat more than most.

I truly enjoyed the puns, the word-play, the sheer delight in turning familiar faery tales over on their heads with such abandon.

The literal “fork in the road” which provided them a map on where they can go next to search for their missing friends was brilliant.

Thus, the reader gets to see other familiar characters such as Little Boy Blue, the Spider in Little Miss Muffet, the ubiquitous Wolf, plus a Giant among others.

I especially loved how the sisters (Janet and Susan) created their own little ditty, as a kind of refrain – after every failed attempt to find the Dish and the Spoon. Whether bossy Cat, grumpy Dog, and sleepy Cow are able to save the rhyme and find their missing friends, I shall leave for you to discover. Needless to say, this is a cleverly-conceived mystery involving a familiar rhyme that I am sure most children would enjoy reading and going over again and again.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: 46 (of target 40): Jakob Hjort Jensen is from Denmark 

Steve Antony is from the UK, Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel are from the US.

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

5 comments on “[Monday Reading] Missing Hat, Handbag, Plus A Dish And A Spoon

  1. Each one is new to me, Myra, but that last one does look wonderful. Janet Stevens is a former parent of mine when I taught. Her illustrations are awesome. Thanks for sharing, will look for all!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ok, you have convinced me that I must read And The Dish Ran Away With The Spoon. It was in my school library but I never got around to reading it. I’m off to put a hold on it. I hope my public library has a copy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jana Eschner

    The Mystery Hat looks like a fun mystery to have during wintertime. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sarah Sammis

    I have a crime picture book rec for you: Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann (1995). My weekly updates

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, that last book is soooo great! In fact, Susan Stevens Crummel visited our elementary school right around the time that And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon was published, so I was able to get a signed copy. Oh how I miss the days of being in a huge wealthy district where famous authors dropped by regularly (including Chris Van Allsburg who came the Christmas that The Polar Express was turned into a movie). We’ve moved to the midwest over a decade ago and it’s pretty small and quiet out here. Thanks for all the shares, Myra. The Mystery Hat looks super cute, too!!

    Liked by 1 person

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