Monday, August 4, 2014

Book Review - McKay and the Magical Hat


McKay and the Magical Hat

By: Kate David
Illustrated by: Helen Turner
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Publication Date: June 2014
ISBN: 978-1478729686
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: August 2014

When we last visited the ‘magical hat’ (Murphy and the Magical Hat), we met Murphy, a young girl who was bored, bored, bored on a rainy day with nothing to do. With the help of Nana’s magical hat, however, her world opened up and she was taken to a wonderful place to be entertained and enchanted. Now, in the second book in this charming series (will there be more?), we are introduced to Murphy’s younger sister McKay. What will happen with the magical hat this time?

As the story opens, McKay can’t decide what she wants to be when she grows up. Seeking advice, she asks her big sister “...What do you think I should be?” Murphy, wise beyond her years, tells her, “It’s what YOU want to be that matters...” Excellent advice! Murphy suggests that her sister use the magical hat to help imagine all the possibilities.

The girls head to Mom’s room where the magical hat is kept. McKay hops on the bed, puts the hat on, closes her eyes and poof! She opens her eyes and endless possibilities appear!

McKay first sees herself as a beautiful ballerina, leaping and twirling, then a cook baking an amazing cake. Lest you think that this young lady only imagines traditional woman jobs, I’m here to report that that is not the case. McKay has a fantastic imagination and she’s able to think up (with the hat’s help, of course) a great selection of careers from pilot to doctor to veterinarian.

If you read my review of the first book, you’ll know that I loved it. I’m happy to report that the second book does not disappoint – it’s just as sweet, enjoyable, and manages to gently insert an important message to children about making their own decisions. When McKay starts imagining her future, the text switches into a gentle rhyming format that flows easily and helps move the story along. The illustrations, by Helen Turner, who also illustrated the first book, are wonderful. The use of pastels adds a soft glow to the children and really makes them come alive. Overall, a wonderful book that I truly enjoyed reading/reviewing.

Quill says: A great way to introduce children to future career choices and imparting the message that the future is up to them!