Sophia’s Red Hat
by Patricia Nichvolodoff
Trafford Publishing

"And to this day, Sophia and the townspeople are known for their kindness and beautiful music."

Integrating the different subjects together is an educational method that has stood up to the test of time. Children’s literature is an ideal way to do that, and Nichvolodoff’s Sophia’s Red Hat is the perfect segue into a math lesson on multiplication or addition. It even ends with an arithmetic problem that children will love to figure out.

One day, Sophia is relaxing when she spots a red hat stuck in a tree. She gets it down, puts it on, and twirls left and then right (a recurring pattern in the book). Sophia begs her grandmother to teach her how to knit and has a ball making red hats for her grandmother and mother. This continues with her neighbors, the baker, the postman, the fireman, and others, all loving the hats in turn and knitting them for each other. As they all get one, they form a musical parade (including dogs and cats with red hats) and find themselves becoming nicer to each other and promoting kindness within the village.

The colorful illustrations by Shannen Marie Paradero add depth and understanding to the plot. The book does a wonderful job of teaching how just a little kindness, like holding the door for someone, can change the world. As mentioned before, the lessons of the book also don’t have to be finished when the last page is read. There is a challenging problem that educators and parents can set children loose to solve. Because this is only Book One, readers can look forward to more of Sophia’s adventures in future editions.

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