Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty Book Review

Happy Birthday, Madame Chapeau by Andrea Beaty
Illustrations by David Roberts
Publishers: Harry N. Abrams
Release Date: September 2, 2014

Madame Chapeau is a world-famous hat maker, who can make the perfect hat to match her clients, but doesn't have one of her own. Once a year, Madame Chapeau ventures out in her favorite bonnet, however this time a crow steals her adornment. As she chases after the crow, the people of Paris offer their own hats, but none of them is quite right. That is until one little girl offers her a hat that is knitted with love.

I have to say I wasn't overly impressed with this book, but not because there were any cardinal sins committed within its pages. The story just felt a little ho hum. Although an interesting study in occupations and style, there was nothing that really drew me in. The illustrations were interesting, but more from an artistic standpoint as I didn't feel they helped carry the story itself. Illustration and text are a careful marriage in picture books and if done wrong can lead to one dominating the other or neither working. In this case, it was the illustrations that dominated, to the point where the stilted rhymes were almost forgotten. On the other hand, the author does provide a very interesting author note in regards to the hat, so it should be noted that there is something to be learned within these pages, even if the story didn't leap off the page for me.