Cover image for Tiny's hat
Tiny's hat
Grifalconi, Ann.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 1999.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 28 cm
A young girl who misses her father, a traveling blues musician, lifts her own spirits by wearing his hat and singing his songs. Inspired by the childhood of Billie Holiday.
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC K-2 1.9 1 Quiz: 20806.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction New Materials

On Order



Challenging game situations that have stumped players, managers--and even umpires. Some are real and some are hypothetical, but all of these 40 tough calls are in the megaleague rule book--plus dozens of great drawings.

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Tiny remembers warm and wonderful times filled with laughter, stories and Daddy's "sweet-sad" trumpet playing as he holds his hat over the horn to "soften the sound." But when he stays away to play far-away gigs, Tiny misses him "much too much." Just before he leaves her for the last time, Daddy gives Tiny "his big ol'/ Round ol' bowler hat"; this parting gift helps her to remember Daddy and his music and to find her own style for singing away the blues. Inspired by Grifalconi's (The Village of Round and Square Houses) love of blues music and the childhood of Billie Holiday, this poignant yet realistic story will especially strike a chord with readers who are dealing with separation and loss. Grifalconi's pastel portraits, rendered on an array of cool-colored backgrounds, convey the gentle underpinnings of the story as Tiny's expressive eyes change from bright to tearful and back again. An almost shimmering spread depicting Daddy "aim[ing] his trumpet/ Up to the sky,/ Crying to the moon," suggests the magical sway music has over those who truly feel it; even the crescent moon mimics the curve of the horn as it meets Daddy's bowler hat. Grifalconi's expert use of abstract color outlines to underscore the characters' emotional shifts is reminiscent of John Steptoe's early work. A tender and moving tale. Ages 5-8. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 3-Tiny's father is a blues player and the young girl loves his music-both the sweet and the sad. When he goes away on gigs, she misses him greatly, and then one day he leaves and doesn't come back. She tries to remember that he once told her, "...I'll be around no matter how," but all she can do is cry. Finally she dons her daddy's big black hat, finding comfort as she hears echoes of his horn and, at last, she begins "to sing her blues away." Dedicated to singer Billie Holiday and containing a note about the origin of "the blues," this story rings with the beat and cadence of that soulful music. Grifalconi uses thick, dense background colors, overlaying them with chalky lines that give texture and dimension. A horizontal format allows the double-page spreads to seep across the pages, giving a larger-than-life aspect to the presentation. She also creates a nice foreshadowing effect, as the father's appearances become fewer: Mama is shown unsmiling and apart in the background while a still hopeful Tiny pleads with her father to come back more often. An effective story to use with Rachel Isadora's Ben's Trumpet (Greenwillow, 1979) and with Alan Schroeder's Ragtime Tumpie (Little, Brown, 1989).-Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.