Geraldine Pu and Her Cat Hat, Too!

S. & S./Simon Spotlight. (Geraldine Pu). Jan. 2022. 64p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534484726; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781534484719.
Gr 1-3–Geraldine, a Taiwanese American girl, lives with her parents, her amah (“grandma” in Taiwanese), and her little brother, Auggie, who has recently taken to copying everything his older sister does. One of Geraldine’s beloved possessions is her cute and cozy cat hat, called Mao Maotz (the glossary explains that in Mandarin “Mao” means “cat,” and “Maotz” means “hat”). When Geraldine and Auggie accompany Amah to the hair salon, Geraldine flips through a magazine and concludes that her own hair is “boring!” Her friend Deven and the seemingly magical Mao Maotz offer encouragement, yet Geraldine is still not convinced and tries to restyle her hair, but things go wrong. When using Mao Maotz to hide her hair does not work, Geraldine will have to come up with a new plan for school picture day. This early chapter book, the latest in an ongoing series, is a fantastic introduction to comics, and Geraldine provides new readers with a brief tutorial on formatting and terminology. Chang creates a warm landscape, with a muted palette and rounded shapes. Text and visuals are well balanced, offering a clear and concise experience for emergent readers.
VERDICT A refreshing early chapter book in a simple graphic novel format. Equal amounts silly and sweet, Geraldine is enchanting. Young readers will look forward to forthcoming titles in the series (and while they wait, direct them to Geraldine Pu and Her Lunchbox, Too!).

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