Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats: By the Red Tractor Mailbox (Book 1) by Angela Shelton

Tilda Pinkerton's Magical Hats: By the Red Tractor Mailbox (Book 1) by Angela Shelton, Inside Illustrations by James Murray
Quiet Owl Books
ISBN: 978-0985944384
Published April 1, 2013
Hardcover, 196 pages

This is the first book in the Tilda Pinkerton and the Magical Hats chapter book series. It's got a cute cover and a welcoming page for kids that informs them how to use the book. They can color the pages and look up the new vocabulary words in the glossary found at the end of the book. It contains 344 words. We received the book with some beautiful stickers and a postcard message from the author.

The story is about eleven year-old Madison Mae and her younger seven year-old brother Albert who live on the family farm with their grandparents. It's not quite clear why their parents left them there, except that the children permanently live with their grandparents. The parents are only mentioned twice in the whole story. The children want to save the farm and have the chance to do so when Tilda Pinkerton shows up out of the blue with her shop of magical hats—hats that cause the wearer to use their imagination and create beautiful things.

I read this book with my son and after the first few chapters I can see that he wasn't too engaged. He lost interest in the story soon after. I think it's because the story seemed too babyish for the ages of the characters. They didn't speak like kids their age. I don't think my son could relate, even though he also has an older sister, just like Albert. He did like Tilda Pinkerton, who sported a tall hat with a fishtank in its center. She was quite original!

The book includes and introduces many new vocabulary words for each chapter and some of the words seemed too advanced for this type of story. The story sometimes came across as contrived, as if each sentence had to include a certain number of adjectives and big new words, but this came at the expense of plot and character development.

I think the author's idea is a good one—the introduction of vocabulary words. However, I think there was too much emphasis on the words and not enough on the story. Kids learn new words when they love a good story. When I wanted to read and look over the new words at the end of each chapter, my son refused and just wanted to move on. The message of the story is a good one. With the help of magical hats, a family pulls together their ideas and creates beautiful things.

Keep in mind this is just the opinion of one mom and her boy. Teachers may appreciate using this to improve reading skills. Actually, this book is intended to help children in the classroom. It's available for bulk purchases and can be ordered for an entire school or classroom at special discounts. You can also visit the Smart Board Interactive website for fun free activities at

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.
For more reviews, please visit the book tour page.

About the author:
Angela Shelton is an author, actor, blogger and public speaker. She has been writing since she was eight years old. Her first novel was adapted into the movie Tumbleweeds. Angela won a regional Emmy award for her portrayal of Safe Side Superchick in The Safe Side video series created by Baby Einstein’s Julie Clark and America’s Most Wanted’s John Walsh. After living in Los Angeles for over a decade, Angela left the big city for a one-light country town to marry her first love and fulfill her dream of writing books in a barn house.

Find out how Angela has incorporated the character of Tilda Pinkerton into an entire line of book projects, each geared towards a different age group at

Angela Shelton’s Website:
Angela Shelton on Twitter: Shelton on Facebook: Pinkerton on Twitter:

Reviewed by Laura & Son

Disclosure: Thanks to the author and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours for sending us this book for review. We were not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

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