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Children's Fiction Clothing & Dress

Hat On, Hat Off

by (author) Theo Heras

illustrated by Renné Benoit

Pajama Press Inc.
Initial publish date
Sep 2022
Clothing & Dress, Siblings, Daily Activities
Recommended Age
2 to 5
Recommended Grade
p to k
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2016
    List Price
  • Board book

    Publish Date
    Sep 2022
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Baby is getting dressed to go out. But as often as his big sister adds a new piece of clothing, he tosses his hat aside.

It’s time for this little one to go out. But which hat will he choose? Red hat, blue hat, striped hat, penguin hat, teddy bear hat? Once that decision is made, that hat just doesn’t stay on while shoes are tied and a jacket is buttoned. One more visit to the potty. And once this child is in the stroller at last, will that hat be on his head?

Toddlers will delight in choosing their own hats after sharing charming story, now available in sturdy board book format. A simple, rhythmic text that reflects the everyday challenge of getting a busy toddler ready to go out. Written by Theo Heras and Illustrated with gentle humor by Renné Benoit.

“Intimate and cozy…A seemingly simple story is greatly enhanced by nuanced, toddler-friendly details.”—Kirkus Reviews

About the authors

Theo Heras is a performer, speaker, book reviewer, and a children's librarian. Passionate about literature and programming for babies and toddlers, Theo is the author of the juvenile titles Hat On, Hat Off, Baby Cakes, and Where’s Bunny?, which was a Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice. She has also recorded two albums: What Will We Do with the Baby-O?, and Seashell, Sing a Song to Me. Theo lives in Toronto, Ontario.


Theo Heras' profile page

Renné Benoit is living her childhood dream of being an artist. Trained in graphic design, she is the award-winning illustrator of more than 15 books for children. Her awards include the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award for Children's Literature for Proud as a Peacock, Brave as a Lion; the OLA Silver Birch Express Award for The Secret of the Village Fool; and the Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize for both Fraser Bear and Goodbye to Griffith Street. The latter was also nominated for the Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Award. Big City Bees was nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for Children's Illustration, and A Year of Borrowed Men was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, among others. Renné lives in St. Thomas, Ontario.


Renné Benoit's profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection
  • Commended, Jbrary "2017 Favourite Storytime Picture Books" selection
  • Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best" selection

Editorial Reviews

Praise for Hat On, Hat Off

2023 Carnegie Library Of Pittsburgh Best Books for Babies List Selection

2017 Jbrary "2017 Favourite Storytime Picture Books" selection

2017 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens selection

2016 School Library Journal blog A Fuse #8 Production by Betsy Bird: "2016 Great Board Books" selection

2016 Resource Links "The Year's Best" selection

"...Staccato phrases are extended by the charming watercolor-and-digital illustrations that bleed off the page, creating an intimate, up-close effect. Soft colors and background patterns of knitted yarn (which only adults will notice) add a cozy feeling to the text pages. Heavyweight paper and rounded corners will help little hands to turn the pages easily. A seemingly simple story is greatly enhanced by nuanced, toddler-friendly details."—Kirkus Reviews

"Heras and Benoit tell a story that every parent will relate to, using toddler-friendly language and soft watercolor illustrations. The patterns of each hat are subtly woven into the narrative as a backdrop to many of the pages that contain text. VERDICT Recounting the delights and trials of toddlerhood, this charming offering makes for a fun read-aloud to share one-on-one or with a small group."—School Library Journal

"The simple and repetitive language used throughout the book works well for children who are just learning to speak...The illustrations do a great job of giving visual cues for children to follow along with. Overall, Hat On, Hat Off is a lovely little book for young children and parents."—CM Magazine

“This is a great book for toddlers. The illustrations sweetly invoke the textures of clothing itself…. an important board book that empathizes with the lived experiences of young children who get dressed every single day. Highly Recommended”Catherine-Laura Dunnington, CM Magazine

"Hat On, Hat Off is a wonderful read-a-loud title for young children that should be incorporated into library and classroom collections without hesitation."—Resource Links

"Renné Benoit's softly hued, realistic watercolour illustrations extend Theo Heras's simple, conversational text....The book's design is very appealing to little hands, with a soft padded cover, and rounded corners. Infinitely relatable, Hat On, Hat Off is a warm, slice-of-life adventure that is perfect for sharing."—National Reading Campaign

"Theo Heras uses spare and simple language to tell a story that toddlers and preschoolers (and certainly their parents and caregivers) are sure to recognize....From the assortment of fun and funky hats piled up in a basket to the facial expressions of the toddler in question, [Renné] Benoit demonstrates an eye for details that matter."—Canadian Children's Book News

"Theo Heras' text is not complex but that makes it easy to follow for those for whom Hat On, Hat Off is written, and the book is appropriately packaged for them: small size with padded hardcover, thick paper and rounded corners. Young children will...especially be hooked by Renné Benoit's endearing illustrations....[A] joyful experience of style and taste and childish amusement."—CanLit for LittleCanadians

"All libraries [should buy this book]"—Youth Services Book Review

“This simple story of a young child getting ready to go outside and play on a cooler day is a very relatable everyday activity….The soft colors keep the event light-hearted and sweet….The sturdy cover and thicker pages are perfect for a newly independent child to hold and turn the pages.”—YA Books Central

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