Inspiring Young Readers

posted on 07 May 2024

A Hat Full of Sea by Maudie Smith & Jen Khatun

A young girl called Cora is paying a visit to her Grandpa Jim in hospital. The girl makes sure she’s wearing the new hat he had given her and she’s desperate to cheer him up. But there’s a problem – it’s obvious that the two of them are used to having adventures together but now Grandpa Jim is going to have to stay in bed, in a room with just one small window.

Cora would love to go down to the sea with Grandpa but he can’t leave the bed – so, she decides, she will bring the sea to him:

“Grandpa laughed. ‘I’d like that,’ he said.”

Using her new hat, Cora captures the essence of the sea for Grandpa Jim to experience:

“She caught the softness of sand and the seagull cries all wrapped in the wind.”

Back in the hospital, the two share the experience of the sea:

“’Fancy that! A hat full of sea.’ Grandpa Jim smacked his lips. ‘I can just taste the ocean.’”

Now, when Cora visits, she brings her Grandpa different experiences of the outside world in her hat. Together they visit the countryside, a fun-fair, the town and its markets – even the moon and stars. 

But her bright idea to capture a train journey for her Grandpa brings disaster. As she stands watching a train zoom by, her hat flies off:

“She looked and looked, but she couldn’t find it anywhere.”

Distraught, she goes to see her Grandpa without her hat and discovers his bed empty….

Where has he gone? Will Cora ever be able to make him happy again?

Why don’t you discover the answer for yourself by getting your own copy?

Beautifully illustrated by East Sussex-based illustrator, Jen Khatun this is a charming depiction of a loving bond between grandparent and grandchild – an example of how the imagination can reach across generations to make the world a richer place.

The book comes from Lantana Publishing, who are always pioneers in producing high quality illustrated books for younger readers. You will be able to get a copy from your local independent bookshop – who will, of course, be happy to order you a copy if they don’t have it on their shelves.


Terry Potter

May 2024