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list price: $19.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2012
ISBN:9781770492530
publisher: Tundra

Mr. Zinger's Hat

by Cary Fagan, illustrated by Dusan Petricic

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imagination & play, multigenerational
5 of 5
1 rating
rated!
rated!
list price: $19.99
edition:Hardcover
also available: Paperback
published: Aug 2012
ISBN:9781770492530
publisher: Tundra
Description

Cary Fagan is the award-winning author of several young adult novels and picture books. This wonderful new story is about stories, and story-telling, and is sure to enchant and instruct children at home and at school for years to come.
 
This is the story of a bored little boy, who meets a man, and together they build a story. This story within a story is charming and changes both their lives... and quite possibly the readers as well.

About the Authors

Cary Fagan is the author of six novels and three story collections for adults, as well as many award-winning books for children. His books include A Bird's Eye (finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, an Amazon.ca Best Book of the Year) and the story collection My Life Among the Apes (longlisted for the Giller Prize, Amazon.ca Best 100 Books of 2013). Cary was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.

Author profile page >

Cary Fagan is the author of six novels and three story collections for adults, as well as many award-winning books for children. His books include A Bird's Eye (finalist for the Rogers Trust Fiction Prize, an Amazon.ca Best Book of the Year) and the story collection My Life Among the Apes (longlisted for the Giller Prize, Amazon.ca Best 100 Books of 2013). Cary was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.

Author profile page >
Contributor Notes

Cary Fagan has received the Toronto Book Award, the Jewish Book Committee Prize for Fiction, and the Mr. Christie Silver Medal. His recent picture books include Ten Old Men and a Mouse, My New Shirt, and Thing-Thing. His children's novels include The Fortress of Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch Honor Book), Directed by Kaspar Snit (Silver Birch nominee), and Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit. Cary Fagan lives in Toronto.
 
Dusan Petricic is the award-winning illustrator of more than twenty books for children including My New Shirt by Cary Fagan. A former professor of illustration and book design, his work appears in The New York Times, Scientific American, The Wall Street Journal, and The Toronto Star. He lives in Toronto.

Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
Age:
4 to 6
Grade:
p to 1
Editorial Review

SELECTION - "The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers" Winter Children's Book Panel, 2012
SELECTION - TVO Parents Top 10 Summer Reading List for Ages 6-8, 2012
SELECTION - Today’s Parents 100 Best Canadian Kids’ Book of All Time, 2012

PRAISE FOR Mr. Zinger's Hat:

"Petricic .... expertly evokes the episode's understated warmth while cranking up the visual appeal with a set of distinctly delineated central characters interacting comfortably with one another. A thoroughly engaging addition to the shelf of stories about story making." --Kirkus Reviews

"Petricic uses simple outlines and candy colors for the story within-a-story and somber shades and cross-hatching for the scenes of Mr. Zinger and Leo – so distinct are the styles, they could easily be the work of two separate, equally accomplished illustrators. . . Fagan’s dialogue moves smartly.” --Publishers Weekly

"Mr. Zinger’s Hat is a wonderful story about the shared process of creating . . . a story! . . . It is a charming illustration of creative interaction." --CM Magazine

"Every child needs a Mr. Zinger – and his hat! – in his or her life . . . This book oh-so-softly brings across a sweet, multigenerational message about sharing the power of imagination.” --Booklist

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Reader Reviews

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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review

Mr. Zinger’s Hat

“Don’t disturb Mr. Zinger. He’s making up stories. He’s working.” These cautionary words are spoken by a mother to her son, Leo, as he plays ball in the courtyard where Mr. Zinger, a renowned writer, walks and muses. One afternoon, the youngster’s ball accidentally knocks Mr. Zinger’s hat off his head. When Leo returns the hat, the elderly storyteller examines the inside of it to see what made it fly off. “I can see it now,” he declares. “It’s a story. A story trying to get out.”

And so Mr. Zinger begins with “Once upon a time there was a man...” As the tale unfolds, Leo’s interjections and suggestions gradually transform the narrative. Without his knowing, Mr. Zinger has adroitly encouraged the lad to contribute the significant details. The man becomes a boy, a boy who is bored... and rich... and lonely... until he makes friends with another boy named Leo. As they part at the story’s conclusion, Leo asks Mr. Zinger if he will write about Leo and the rich boy. “No,” the old man replies. “That’s not my story, that’s your story. But maybe another story will try and get out of my hat. There’s no end of them, you know.”

Mr. Zinger’s Hat is a marvelous story, beautifully crafted by Cary Fagan. The distinctive personalities of the two protagonists, as well as the humour and poignancy of their situation, are expertly depicted in a most charming manner. The exchange between the elderly author and the boy is so vivid, that it feels as if one is eavesdropping on a real conversation. This is exceptional writing!

Dušan Petričić’s delightful watercolour illustrations provide the perfect accompaniment to the text. Two distinct styles are interwoven throughout. The sombre tonality depicted in the scenes between Mr. Zinger and Leo is juxtaposed against the bright, cartoon- like approach used to illustrate the story they create together.

Readers and listeners alike will be captivated and inspired by Mr. Zinger’s Hat, which not only recognizes the power of words and the imagination, but celebrates a budding friendship spanning generations.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Fall 2012. Volume 35 No. 4.

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