Frank's red hat by Sean E. Avery

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When Frank presents his bold new idea to the other penguins, they are taken aback. They have never seen anything like it, and knowing that some of Frank’s ideas do not turn out well, are tepid in their enthusiasm. But not Frank. He is convinced that this is a good idea. After all a hat can keep you warm especially in their cold environment.

They refute his idea, and Frank goes away to knit more. Perhaps, he thinks, it is the red wool that they do not like, so he makes a sequence of hats using different colours. But all to no avail. Dejected, Frank vows to stop making hats when a seal taps him on the shoulder, wanting to have his red hat. The seal sees the possibilities of keeping his head warm, and Frank is surprised when turning he sees the other seals and what they are wearing. His persistence has paid off, his enthusiasm vindicated, he has kept trying despite opposition and followed his great idea.

A wonderfully enthusiastic story of chasing your dreams and not giving up, this story will be a hit in classrooms and the home as it is read to younger folk, eyes boggling at the landscape presented to them in the stunning illustrations using digital collage and paper folding techniques. The freezing environment is drawn with icebergs and mountains, cold icy seas and few animals: penguins and seals with an orca lurking in the background. Readers will love seeking out the features of this part of the world, adding to their knowledge of their wider environment. And they will love Frank and his determination, keeping on with his idea despite opposition, seeing in Frank a role model to emulate. Activities are available in the Story Time kit.

Themes: Perseverance, Determination, Ideas, Invention, STEM, Antarctica, Penguins.

Fran Knight