The Lord of the Hat

The Creature from my Closet, #5

The Lord of the HatBy Skye Obert Skye

This is the 5th in a series called The Creature From My Closet. The premise is that a young boy, Robert Burnside, has a magical closet. During this episode the creature coming from his closet is an odd combination character who is half the Cat from the The Cat in the Hat, and half Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. Robert decides to call him Seussol. But that takes place toward the end of the book.

Robert and his family are boring according to Robert. His dad wins a trip for having the “outstanding small business for the Western Region, not including California,” though. Robert’s friends and family go on a road trip to the banquet in New Mexico where his father will be honored. Lots of things happen in the preparation, travel and return trip.

Obert Skye has a knack for writing like many people think. He jumps from one thought to the next fairly quickly and from writing to drawings as easily. The format is great for this story. The drawings and word balloons really are just a different way of writing the story, and Obert moves easily from words to pictures and back. He has great stream-of-consciousness writing.

If the reader was very familiar with Dr. Seuss books and Lord of the Rings it would be easier to get all the jokes. Many Dr. Seuss books are referenced, as are characters and events in the Tolkien trilogy. Mr. Skye makes plenty of cross-referenced jokes such as: “One Precious, Two Precious, Red Precious, Blue Precious”. In the town of Tolk there is an Oobleck’s Playhouse and Theater. Other buildings in the town are “King Stilts” and “McElligot’s Pool Hall”. So, references to Dr. Seuss’s works for older children are common. So are the references to Lord of the Rings.

When Robert starts rhyming like Dr. Seuss the writing is fantastic. The humor throughout is great as well. Yet, with all the praise I’ve given this book, it isn’t a favorite of mine. I’m sure it will be for followers of the series (which I haven’t been). I have too many bad feelings about Gollum, and don’t like to be reminded of him. I’m sure other readers will enjoy this more than I did – especially if they are in the age group intended for this book.

Review by Cheryl Baker, Teacher, Mill Creek Elementary
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: Grades 5-8

The Creature from my Closet, #5
The Lord of the Hat
By Obert Skye
Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company
247 pages
Release Date: October 6, 2015

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