Children’s Book Review: Tom T’s Hat Rack – A Story About Paying it Forward


Tom T’s Hat Rack by Michele Spry and Peggy A. Guest (Illustrations)

Age Range: 6 and up

Paperback: 106 pages

Publisher: Spry Publishing (January 2, 2013)

Language: English

Series: None

Genre: Picture book

Source: Author for review

My Rating: 3 of 5 stars

About the Book:

Shelby Summers has a zest for life that can’t be tamed… Tom Tucker has
a dream of helping others who are facing the challenges he faced not
too long ago. Join Shelby and Mr.T as they join forces to give back to
their community, and be challenged to do the same for yours!

Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

About the Author:

I am a small business owner, a Partner in Education and a new author.
Several years ago, I decided to live my life by paying it forward to
others as often as I could and try to encourage others to do simple acts
of kindness for random strangers. This simple gesture truly makes a
difference in the lives of others which makes my heart happy. As a new
author, people and events have inspired me to write while sticking with
the theme of “Paying It Forward”. My book is written for children 8-12
years old but adults can be encouraged also. This is something I hope
that adults and children can read together and discuss how they may
choose to pay it forward for others to benefit. There is a instructions
at the end of my book that will allow you and your child to work on a
project together.

About the Illustrator:

Peggy A. Guest,
native of Kansas City, is a graduate of Park College in Parkville, Missouri,
with additional undergraduate studies in fine art at the University of
Missouri-Columbia, and the Kansas City Art Institute.

Peggy began her art career as an illustrator
and graphics supervisor for the federal government. She worked for the
Department of Defense at Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base, Ft. Leavenworth,
Kansas, the Army Recruiting Command and the USDA .

Her husband, Joe Guest, a mid-Missouri native,
has an extensive background in commercial and residential construction
and engineering. He collaborates with Peggy on the actual fabrication
and installation of the artwork. His working knowledge of each piece from
the ground up, is invaluable when installing pieces.

Peggy and Joe now have their own art studio near Fayette,
in mid-Missouri. They take private commissions, commercial, corporate
and public art on a project-by-project basis (i.e. murals, large public
sculptures, exhibits).


My Thoughts:

This book is okay. It isn’t fantastic, but it’s not bad, either. On the
positive side, I really liked the message and the story. Shelby is a
sweet girl and is a great example of paying it forward. I like the way
she worked hard all summer to create something that would benefit other
people. I also really liked Mr. T. He is a wonderful, grandfatherly figure
that takes the initiative to spend quality time with a child.

On the downside, I’m not sure this would appeal to the target age group.
The writing was alright, but it was a little too straight forward. The
book also had a lot of filler – passages that didn’t really seem to have
any purpose. For example, there is a lot of discussion of measurements
and if they should stain or paint the boards they were working on. The
illustrations were just okay for me. Didn’t love them, didn’t hate them.

Overall, this is a sweet book about an elderly man and a young girl
spending their summer making other people’s lives better. I think adults
will enjoy it more than kids, but you never know.


Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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