Hattie Helps Out
By Jane Godwin, Davina Bell and Freya Blackwood, Allen and Unwin, 2016.
‘It’s a busy day at Hattie’s house. There’s a lot to do before Dad’s birthday party. Hattie is being very helpful, until it’s time for her afternoon nap. Hattie’s not even sleepy! But Mama looks tired. Very tired…’
Hattie has some very big ideas about helping Mama out with the party preparations. One day Hattie Helps Out at home. She is a great helper around the house until it is time for a nap. Hattie says she is too old to sleep in the daytime, but Mama insists. Who falls asleep, do you think? Mama falls asleep, and Hattie watches her for a while before deciding that she will help out greatly by ticking off the list of things Mama had said she needed to do before the party. Meanwhile, baby Lottie, Hattie’s younger sibling, has been sleeping in the washing basket while Hattie and Mama were having their rest in bed.
Hattie slips seamlessly into the roleplay of mother of the house as she tidies and arranges, and even complains of not having ‘time for a crying baby today’.
The authors have perfectly captured how a young child would approach an afternoon nap, preparations for a birthday party, and helping around the house. Hattie Helps Out is a totally believable representation of what a child might do in this situation.