The Baby in the Hat by Allen Ahlberg is one of those picture books you and your kids (if you have them) will fall in love with.
Set in colonial England, it follows the adventures of a young boy who one day does an extraordinary thing: he catches a baby falling out of a window -- in his hat.
The baby's mother gives him half a crown for his good deed, which changes his fortunes forever.
There's a delightful twist at the end, too.
And did I mention the wonderful illustrations?
My children sat wide-eyed while I read this book. They loved the pirate-fighting scene. My son learned what cabin boys were and details about the English navy. My daughters delighted in the romance. They loved guessing the twist at the end right before it happened.
Beautiful story! We borrowed this one from our library. I'll probably keep renewing it until the system won't let me anymore, and then order my own copy. Er, I mean, a copy for my children....