The ‘Read In’ and review of You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Kindley

January can be a bit of a blue month, so I was excited to hear that we were having another read in event at school. This evening at school is all about sharing books with children and parents. Each teacher decorates their classroom, either themed to their books, or just make it extra cosy with cushions and soft lighting. Everyone piles in wearing their pyjamas and enjoys listening to stories.

I decided to read You Must Bring a Hat by Simon Philip and Kate Kindley. It’s a silly and beautifully illustrated picture book about a boy who is invited to a birthday party, but struggles to meet the one requirement of the dress code – to wear a hat. He ends up taking a monkey with him who is wearing a hat, but the rules for getting in keep on getting more random and obscure. At one point, the boy is told that he must bring a penguin so long as he brings a suitcase full of cheese…


It was a real delight to read and I was pretty chuffed that a few children came back to my classroom to hear it for a second time. I loved doing the voices for each of the characters – it gave me permission to be even more silly than usual! My classroom was decorated as if it were Nigel’s party and I managed to raid the costume cupboard at school for hats so that no one would feel left out!

I would really recommend this story to all and if you haven’t heard it before, click on the video below to hear the actor Tom Hardy read it on CBeebies for the bed time story.

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