Thursday, July 25, 2013

Book Review: Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats by Angela Shelton

Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats
by Angela Shelton
Illustrated by James Murry
Publisher: Quiet Owl Books  April 1, 2013
Available in: eBook and Print,  196  Pages, including a 344 Word Glossary
Category: Children's Literature/Fantasy/Magic  --  K1-Grade 4

I just fell in love with Tilda in The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton when I read it for it's blog tour last November and she hasn't lost her charm for me.  In Magical Hats, I am still enchanted with her though this time, unlike in The Adventures where she is a primary character with a story arc of her own, Tilda is a static character who serves as the catalyst in the story arcs of Madison Mae and Albert, their grandparents, the woodchuck Sammy and Mr. Seedy.

This story's focus is on the children Madison Mae and Albert who are spending the summer on their grandparents farm which is in dire straights.  They are worried by the adult talk they overhear alluding to the imminent loss of the farm, the sadness emanating off their grandmother and the anger of their grandfather.  Then they encounter Sammy a helmet wearing woodchuck who talks and directs them to Tilda's magical hat shop where they meet Tilda and her friends, Frank the Fifth the French speaking, sunglasses wearing goldfish that lives in her tall green top hat and Gabby Gab the chattering, soft-as-velvet, hairless green cat.

Before they leave they have each acquired a new hat that reflects their talents and aspirations; a banker's green visor for Albert who wants to be a rich man and a bonnet for Madison Mae who wants to be a fashion designer. Tilda also sends them off with a farmer's straw hat for their grandpa.  The two children are soon sprouting income generating ideas and busily implementing them.

The book is written and designed as a chapter book for early readers but would work well as a read-aloud for 3 to 5 year olds who are not yet readers themselves. The line drawing illustrations by James Murry are like those in coloring books so that children who own their own copy can color them.  And just as in The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton, there are lots of words not likely to yet be in the vocabulary of the target audience.  Something I would have adored even when at that age myself.  This time though instead of putting the definitions in footnotes there is a list of the new words at the end of each chapter and a glossary in the back of the book containing their definitions.

 Anyone who has read many of my reviews knows that I'm not generally a gusher but there is something about these Tilda stories that taps into the deep reservoir of glee that was a natural aspect of my early childhood but has been buried deep by the traumas and worries, the failures and furies of fifty years.  Reading these stories, I feel as though I'm trying on happiness like a hat and hope like a pair of sunglasses.  I can't help wishing I had a Tilda hat as I'm sure it would make the anxiety, depression and blood pressure meds I'm now taking moot.

From the Publishers:

Eleven-year-old Madison Mae and her younger brother, Albert, want to help save the family farm during troubled times. When a mysterious Magical Hat Shop appears by their grandpa's red tractor mailbox, the children meet Tilda Pinkerton who presents them with one-of-a-kind hats, causing new ideas and talents to suddenly burst forth. As a flood of harm comes rushing towards the farm, Tilda Pinkerton teaches the children how they can accomplish much more than anyone ever imagined.

Increase your child's vocabulary, self esteem and awareness of social issues, while they enjoy a great story!  Tilda Pinkeron's Magical Hats does it all.

What they are saying:

"INCREDIBLE! WOW! AMAZING! I'd go on but I think you'd get tired of it but I also don't want you to think that I'm being overly promotional or something. I truly fell in love with The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton.
This book had me smiling and laughing. What makes it so unique? Well, there are great characters and such, but it all comes down to the words. Yes, words! The names of the characters are based on what they do and their personalities.  My mind was flying off in ways it could help kids learn new words and enjoy doing so
."-Rebecca Graf, A Book Lover's Library

"Once I dived into the book  I have to say it did not disappoint! The Adventures of Tilda Pinkerton is so well written and entertaining from start to finish.  It was one of those books that I hated to put down and definitely want to share. The story line is so well thought out and put together that I was pleased  see that this book is just one of many that will come from Tilda Pinkerton.  I love the fact that Angela Shelton wrote a book that is a suitable for both children and adults.  Young and old will both love this book and rest assured if you are looking for a gift for a birthday or for Christmas coming up this book would be perfect!!"-
Jayda, Two Children and a Migraine

"This is a truly lovely story.  If Dr. Seuss had written a novel it would be just like this-whimsical, charming, colorful as an artist's palette, with moral values wrapped in parables like peaches in whipped cream, with epic struggles of good against evil and full of the wonder and wisdom only ever comprehended by the heart of a child.  This story will speak to every child heart aged 8 to 88."-Joy Renee Davis, Joystory

"The characters are colorful and quirky, the writing style easy and fun. And, word geek that I am, I absolutely loved that the story is also a bit of a dictionary: for "big" or "new" words, there are footnoted definitions.  Also, most characters have surnames that reflect their personalities. The vocabulary is amazing, and you learn without consciously learning (the best kind). I was sucked into the story, trying to work out the tangles on my own - piecing together clues, and trying to figure out the bad guys versus the good guys before all was revealed. There's adventure, suspense, a little romance, and a dash of space-y goodness; I look forward to future adventures of Tilda."- Rebecca, A Word's Worth

"Finally a character in a book that loves words as much as me.  I love Tilda and her zany way of talking. So exciting to have a book so entertaining and enlightening.  I highly recommend this book.  Read it to yourself, read it out loud, read it to your kids, watch your vocabularity grow.  And the best part is no one will know you had so much fun with words."-Mindy, Boks, Books & More Books

Angela Shelton is an author, actor, blogger and public speaker. She has been writing since she was eight years old. Her first novel was adapted into the movie Tumbleweeds. Angela won a regional Emmy award for her portrayal of Safe Side Superchick in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein's Julie Clark and America's Most Wanted's John Walsh. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Angela left the big city for a one-light country town to marry her first love and fulfill her dream of writing books in a barn house.

Find out how Angela has incorporated the character of Tilda Pinkerton into an entire line of book projects, each geared towards a different age group at

Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts:

2 tell me a story:

Teddy Rose 7/25/2013 11:47 AM  

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I'm so glad that you loved Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats and that it helped you "tap into your glee"! It did that for me as well!

Angela Shelton 7/28/2013 8:10 AM  

Yay! Thank you, Joy! It makes me so very happy happy that you love Tilda. Doing a dance in my hat closet. Thank you for sharing!

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