Title: Avery’s Hat-tastic Adventures Book 1: How Does A Hat Save The Day?
Author: Ellie Royce
Illustrator: Mardi Davies
Publisher: We Are All Made of Stories
Publication date: June 21, 2022
Themes: Family, friendship and community
This review is part of a Books on Tour campaign
Avery’s Hat-tastic Adventures Book 1: How Does A Hat Save The Day? by international award winning author, Ellie Royce and illustrated by Mardi Davies is a brand new series that has been created for younger readers. In this highly engaging story, readers will be captivated by Avery, her best friend Olivia, together with Gatsby, Olivia’s dog and their conundrum at ‘The Patch’, a thriving community garden. Avery takes charge when Mr Laverty, a fellow gardener takes it upon himself to put forward a solution to keep the birds away from the garden. This story contains relatable characters and storyline, small chapters, lively and expressive illustrations peppered throughout the book and a large font with uncluttered pages, making it highly accessible to readers consolidating and strengthening their reading skills.
As an avid hat collector, Avery with a total of forty-nine hats has one for every occasion and experience. These hats help Avery feel brave, smart and even a hat that helps her create the finest toasted cheese sandwich. It comes as no surprise that Avery has a vibrant garden hat perfect for a day at ‘The Patch’.
Avery thoroughly enjoys her time at the community garden and Olivia’s Granny, Irene, has a big and exciting day planned for them. She tasks them with the important job of preparing the garden for seed and seedlings. Of all the thrilling things to do, skills to learn and people to talk to, the one thing that Olivia treasures at the garden the most is Sam the Scarecrow. In Avery’s eyes, Sam is not a typical scarecrow he is special, so much so, that Avery and Olivia call him Un-Scarecrow. He is clothed in donated items from the gardeners so he looks quite striking, but more than this, Avery loves Sam’s face, she feels it looks hopeful.
It comes to Avery’s attention that Mr Laverty is unimpressed with Sam’s efforts at keeping the birds away and he believes the solution is to pull Sam apart and reconstruct him in a way that would be more conducive to ridding the garden of the pesky birds. Avery swiftly takes action and decides on a protest as a first response. Together, Avery and Olivia join forces in an effort stop Mr Laverty from carrying out his plan. Their solution requires some quick thinking, teamwork, creativity, resourcefulness, experimenting, analysis and last but not least, a dose of selflessness that is repaid in unexpected ways.
There is so much to appreciate about this story full of heart, warmth and kindness. The intergenerational nature of the community garden is fascinating to read about. Children and adults from diverse backgrounds come together to create a beautiful, healthy garden to provide fresh herbs and ingredients for the community, all the more richer and deeply satisfying because the contributions are from gardeners who hail from different parts of the world. The Patch is a place to connect with others and in doing so Avery and Olivia learn about the cultural traditions and foods from all around the world as the fellow gardeners share stories and partake in feasts with food prepared from the garden. Avery’s determination and courage to be part of a solution to a problem she cares deeply about is refreshing and inspiring. The illustrations bring the story to life and deftly capture the characters emotions and reactions. For readers who enjoy the Billie B Brown, Violet Mackerel and Ginger Green series I strongly suspect Avery’s Hat-tastic Adventures will be extremely popular with them.
Book 2 in this series, How Does A Hat Make you Well? is coming soon.