Tag Archives: happy birthday madame chapeau

a picture book for every emotion (okay, 30 of them)

Picture books often address a particular emotion, explicitly or not, and it’s one of my favorite things about them. They give you a certain reaction, they help you cope with a feeling, or they help you usher one in. So, I give you 30 picture book titles to help assuage, validate, or cultivate what a little one (or you) is going through.


THE-LITTLE-GARDENERThe Little Gardener by Emily Hughes is essentially a hope manisfesto! If you’ve ever had a dream, this one’s for you.


HANK-FINDS-AN-EGGHank Finds an Egg by Rebecca Dudley. Hank shows us what it means to have the impulse to do something kind and then to do everything it takes to actually make it happen.



HAPPY-birthday-madame-chapeauHappy Birthday Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. Madame Chapeau may be a fabulous hat maker, but she always eats dinner alone. I love how this book shows us that companionship can come not only from a romantic relationship, but from an unexpected friend.


grandfather-ghandiGrandfather Ghandi by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedu, illustrated by Evan Turk. This is the book that sparked the idea for this post. In it Gandhi’s grandson discovers that even the most peaceful people still experience anger.


YOU'RE-FINALLY-HEREYou’re Finally Here! by Mélanie Watt. This is a classic story of impatience, something any reader who’s ever waited for something can relate to.


PEACE-IS-AN-OFFERING-BOOKPeace is an Offering by Annette Lebox and Stephanie Graegin. This is the kind of book that will make you cry, in a good way. It’s like a little manual for the peaceful life.


LITTLE-ELLIOT-BIG-CITYLittle Elliot Big City by Mike Curato. Besides being an immensely sweet and satisfying book, at its heart is Elliot, who is very small. And when you read it, you find out that an antidote for smallness is to find someone else to share with, regardless of size or being seen.


each-kindnessEach Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson and E.B. Lewis. Who can’t relate to this one? Even the main character, an elementary school child, already has something she remembers and wishes she could change.


HUG-MEHug Me by Simona Ciraolo. Felipe the cactus is different from his spiny relatives all right. We as readers know he truly deserves that hug he wants, even though his family doesn’t see it that way. This one celebrates being different even in its difficulty.


extraorindary-janeExtraordinary Jane by Hannah E. Harrison. I love this one because it tells us that being ordinary is pretty super if you’re being yourself.


MARVELOUS-CORNELIUSMarvelous Cornelius by Phil Bidner and John Parra. This picture book is for anyone feeling powerless to realize they’re not. Cornelius shows us what a giant difference one person can make, especially when they inspire others to pitch in.


STEPHEN-and-the-beetle-bookStephen and the Beetle by Jorge Luján and Chiara Carrer. This is such a great example of imagining another’s perspective, even if that other is an insect.



RED-PICTURE-BOOKRed by Jan De Kinder. At its heart, this book shows the kind of compassion that rouses us to stand up for someone else, no matter how hard it is to do so.


I-DONT-WANT-TO-BE-A-FROGI Don’t Want to Be a Frog by Dev Petty and Mike Boldt. A perfect primer on wanting to be something you’re not and then recognizing the upside of your own state.


JANE-THE-FOX-AND-MEJane, the Fox, & Me by Isabelle Arsenault and Fanny Brit. Aside from being one of the most gorgeous books ever, this story is for anyone who hangs her head because of what someone else has said or because of the thoughts swimming in her own mind. Fear not, it is not as it seems in the moment!


THE-SMALLEST-GIRL-IN-THE-SMALLEST-GRADEThe Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade by Justin Roberts and Christian Robinson. An admonition to notice things, to log them away, and to stand tall no matter how small you are.


HOORAY-FOR-HATHooray For Hat! by Brian Won. This is a book to turn that frown upside down for sure. Just the design and color do that for me, but it’s the sweet story of friends helping friends that seals the deal.


tia-isa-wants-a-carTía Isa Wants a Car by Meg Medina and Claudio Muñoz. The niece who is the narrator in this story has so much devotion to her aunt and to their dreams—devotion she’s willing to work very hard for.


night-driving-bookNight Driving by John Coy and Peter McCarty. A slow and quiet father/son nighttime drive with all the details of remembering.


beautiful-griseldaBeautiful Griselda by ISOL. A cautionary fairy tale for anyone too concerned with their own beauty.


UNICORN-THINKS-HES-PRETTY-GREATUnicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great by Bob Shea. This is an archetypal jealousy book and has big-time humor to boot! Goat’s jealousy, as all jealousy, comes from only valuing what that shiny unicorn has instead of valuing your own good stuff.


Beegu by Alexis Deacon. One of my favorite picture books ever and perfect for times when you feel super out of place. But don’t worry, there are small people on earth who will accept you—children.



one-picture-booksOne by Kathryn Otoshi. A book that inspires on many levels—in the ingenuity of its execution as well as its message.


nassredine-picture-bookNasreddine by Odile Weulersse and Rebecca Dautremer. A beautifully illustrated parable about not caring what others think of you.


HOW-TO-JULIE-MORSTADHow To by Julie Morstad. Like a how to manual for joy, Morstad’s admonitions, if followed, would lead to the best day ever. A book you’ll want to live in.


MRS.BIDDLEBOXMrs. Biddlebox by Linda Smith and Marla Frazee. I love this character with a terrible case of the doldrums until she whips them into cake! Cake to cure any foul mood!



ralph-tells-a-storyRalph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon. Ralph shows us what it’s like to think we don’t have a story and then discover we do. (He also has great writing advice like eating lots of chocolate.)



CRANKENSTEINCrankenstein by Samantha Berger and Dan Santat. This will give you the giggles to cure that crankiness right up.


THE-RED-TREEThe Red Tree by Shaun Tan. This is the most special picture book ever to me. It will go there with you into hopelessness, but then right at the very last moment, it will show you possibility.


THE-LION-AND-THE-BIRDThe Lion and the Bird by Marianne Dubuc. This tender, true book! One helps the other and in turn the other has something to offer the first. Isn’t that what companionship is?


I hope this list comes in handy for you now or in the future. And if you have any other picture book titles that you associate strongly with an emotion, do let me know in the comments!


happy birthday madame chapeau + HATS!!! (+ giveaway)

happy_birthday_madame_chapeauHappy Birthday, Madame Chapeau words by Andrea Beaty, pictures by David Roberts.

Beaty and Roberts are true collaborators. A perfect picture book team.


Story and illustrations complement each other perfectly. They make each other SHINE.

Also, SO STYLISH. You know that already if you’ve read Iggy Peck, Architect or Rosie Revere, Engineer.





“It is Andrea’s Law of Picture Books to include…notes only for plot points or jokes. Everything else, I think should be left to the illustrator with guidance from the editor. They are wildly talented people who take my words to places I never dreamed of and that is such fun to see!”

—Andrea Beaty




From the first page, you fall in love with the hats in this book. So many whimsical wonderful fantastical hats. And then you fall in love with Madame Chapeau. Hatmaker. Hard worker. Elegant, creative Parisian. Lonely gal.


3209580_origI have to mention how Andrea Beaty does rhyme! I mean, on top of everything, this book rhymes! And in the most natural story-telling, fun-loving way.


“In a three-story house with a shop down below

lived the world’s finest hat maker, Madame Chapeau.” 


Chapeau makes the most perfect hat for each of her customers. But she always dines alone. Except on her birthday, that one special day a year, she wears her best dress and bonnet and eats at a super fancy restaurant. (Chez Snooty-Patoot, of course!!)

Only this year, she loses her hat in a most creative way. And, in a way, she loses her HEART.

As David [Roberts] worked through the sketches, our editor, Susan Van Metre, helped us find the heart of the story – which is Madame Chapeau’s loneliness and how the simple act of kindness can change a person’s world.”

                                                                                     —Andrea Beaty


If you read between the lines, as in look carefully at the illustrations, Madame Chapeau’s character is that much richer.  Yes, the hats she designs—those shapes and details. But also, the framed photos at her desk and table. Photos of her and a fellow. She, wearing a heart-shaped red bonnet. A bonnet someone else made for her if you pay close attention

And finally: the girl! She first shows up on the spread with all the shops and is featured again below, with her mother. She makes all the difference to Madame Chapeau in the end!



“David took the idea and created very subtle details in the illustrations to tell the back story about Madame Chapeau’s husband who is now gone. (For instance, the photos and the hatbox from Monsieur Chapeau.)”

—Andrea Beaty




Last fun tidbit: David Roberts himself was a milliner in Hong Kong and the heart-shaped bonnet Madame Chapeau loses—that’s his own millinery design!


I received a review copy of this book; opinions are my own. 





Hats! Many hats featured in this book! (Check out that first image at the top of the post to see some of these illustrated.)


Upside down shoe hat byElsa Schiaparelli.



beatricePrincess Beatrice’s royal wedding hat designed by Philip Treacy.



philip-treacy-hats-004Grace Jones in Philip Treacy hat.


OB-NZ311_mag611_G_20110519183846Charlie Chaplin’s iconic derby.



Marcel MarceauMarcel Marceau’s famous crinkly one.




Isabella Blow, whom Madame Chapeau’s likeness is based on, wearing one of many hats. (See her in more hats over the years, some by Philip Treacy, here.)



That’s Isabella with Philip there. And the hat the girl’s wearing? Red and white-striped with long black feather? You can bet that’s an important hat in Happy Birthday Madame Chapeau!


See the last page of the book and that darling little girl to see what I mean!


And if you’d like to enter for a chance to win a copy of the book, simply leave a comment on this post! Tell us about your favorite hat if you like. 

And you can check out my previous hat posts too!—the hat I made and the hats I borrowed.

I’ll contact the randomly chosen winner by email for your mailing address.

(Open to N. America only—sorry about that far-flung international readers!) Giveaway ends Monday, November 3 at midnight. Good luck!)



Thanks to Abrams Books!