When Everybody Wore a Hat

by William Steig

Hardcover, 2003



Call number




HarperColl (2003), Edition: 1st, 40 pages


The author and illustrator discusses his childhood in early twentieth-century New York City, describing his family, home, neighbors, and what he could buy with a nickel.

User reviews

LibraryThing member CrunchyGranola
This is an adult book for kids--a little over Curious Girl's 3 year old head. She said she didn't like the pictures, but I liked Steig's cartoons. It's an interesting look back at what an 8 year old would see of the world around him in 1916. We won't be reading it at bedtime again, but it's worth a
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peek for grownups.
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LibraryThing member curiousbutterpants
Wiliam Steig's prolific career in children's literature had spanned some 30 years, and fittingly, one of the last books he wrote before he died was "When Everybody Wore a Hat." A wonderful look back at his childhood, Steig nostalgically reminisces about a time "when everybody wore a hat" and
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firetrucks were pulled by horses, among other things.

It's hard enough for me to imagine that it was just one lifetime ago that things were like this – and for kids, I'd imagine, much harder. But Steig's delightful prose really warmly welcomes us to this different time, sharing with us the joys of his childhood. Likewise, I'm glad that we have Steig to be part of our childhoods today.
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LibraryThing member MaowangVater
The world of an eight-year old boy in the Bronx in 1916
LibraryThing member brayner0309
This book is written by a man who is in his nineties. He recounts his life as a child "almost 100 years ago" by talking about various differences from then and now. The book has cute pictures that are inviting and child-like. He speaks of a time when "fire engines were pulled by horses, boys did
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not play with girls, kids went to libraries for books, there was no TV, you could see a movie for a nickel, and everybody wore a hat."

I love this book and want to have it not only in my virtual library, but in my library at home. It is such a creative way to bring children into the reality that times have changed and things are not the way they once were.

I would have young children draw me pictures of different things discussed in the book. For older children, I would have them discuss what life may have been like without all the video games and t.v. of today.
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LibraryThing member wisea
Great for biography writing lesson.
LibraryThing member malindahodgson
The book is about a man reflecting on his childhood when everyone wore a hat. There is fabulous art work on each page, and even a few photographs. I loved the bright colors.
LibraryThing member matthewbloome
This was a fun book. It was biographical in a very early elementary fashion. This reminded me of the journal entries that I used to read from second graders when I student-taught. I see this as a highly useable mentor text for that age range. Steig offers a very light easily-followed example of
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elaboration and writes in a very personal manner that children could easily build their own writing from.
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LibraryThing member lvalido
I'm confused by this book. The title says when everybody wore a hat and yet the illustrations have more people without hats on then with them. William Stieg wrote this about his childhood and even mentions in the story line about everyone wearing a hat. For a children's book with this title, I felt
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that he should have been true to it with the illustrations.
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LibraryThing member lmalak1
I didn’t like this picture book very much. One of the biggest reasons that I disliked this book was due to the ‘plot line’ if you can call it that. I felt like it was so random. Nothing in the book seemed to connect to one another. It felt like the author just threw together some pages, and
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that was the end of that. There wasn’t any true thought into how the book was organized, or how each thought would be connected.
Another reason I didn’t like this book was because there wasn’t enough color for me. I tend to rely on color to portray emotion, and I felt that this book was lacking in emotion. Most of the pages were black and white with a few dashes of color occasionally.
The main idea of this book is that William Steig lived in a very different world as a child, and everyone wore hats back then.
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Original language



0060097000 / 9780060097004
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