This week, I’m working on a flannel board for Brian Won’s Hooray For Hat!, an adorably illustrated story that I hope to use multiple times this season. It’s the story of a grumpy elephant whose mood improves after receiving a mysterious boxful of hats. Feeling better, he sets out to improve the moods of his friends by sharing a hat with each of them. The story follows a simple pattern, with each animal shouting “Hooray for Hat!” as he receives the gift.
I’ll be sharing this book during a Feelings storytime in September, but I think it can lend itself to a variety of themes, including friendship, happiness, the letter H, elephants, animals in general, and — obviously — hats!
I’ll be the first to admit: my “flannel boards” don’t usually involve much flannel. I can’t sew, don’t have access to paint, and even cutting felt pushes the limits of my technical ability. What I can do easily is laminate. Usually when making a new flannel, I scour the web for usable clip art, print what I like on card stock, then cut, laminate, and back the pieces with felt to use like a flannel. The results aren’t always very durable, but they work for me.
Hooray for Hat! features six animals. I was able to find clip art that was similar in style for all of them:
The hats were a different story. The hats in this book are pretty exceptional. One features a pop-out cuckoo bird and a cupholder, equipped with drink and straw. There was just no way I could recreate that exactly, though I did try. Here’s what I came up with instead:
I had so much fun mixing and matching the hats that I decided to make some extra ones, so the kids can play after the story is over.
I also crafted a sign to use during the story. Hopefully it will remind the kids to cheer along with me!
And some animals wearing hats:
And there you have it! It should be a lot of fun, and see plenty of use. I figure I can add in the seasonal hats to make the book more relevant, no matter the time of year (for example: adding the Santa hat in December, or bunny ears in the spring).
All of the images are freely available online, but I’m happy to send along a PDF with the images sized to scale.