From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 1—Hattie trumpets such naughtiness as tagging her brother in a yard sale, tying her father's car keys to a helium balloon, and surprising her mother with live frogs in the refrigerator. At first, her unruly behavior wins applause from her peers—until their parents put a stop to their playing together. Then, Hattie decides to be good—even winning a television competition to be "the best behaved child ever." But, a too-good-to-be-true Hattie is not her style either (no one wants to play with her). On the night of the televised award, she shows her true colors by yelling "UNDERPANTS!" and turning a somersault revealing her skull-and-crossbones panties, and finds that mixing bad behavior with a "teensy bit of good" suits her just fine. Cleverly portrayed, Hattie's mischievous actions will surely elicit giggles, and the details provide much to discover and discuss. Berger embellishes his expressive black-line drawings with bright colors, and his illustrations bring a well-considered pace to the story. An eye-catching dust jacket features Hattie, paint bucket and brush in hand, just finished scrawling "Hattie the Bad" in orange paint across the book cover.—Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA
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Hattie is bad for one simple reason: bad is good—because it’s fun! She has a great time breaking rules, and all the kids want to play with her. But when disapproving parents keep their children away, Hattie develops a radical idea: she will become the perfect child. She soon comes to a new realization, though: good is bad. None of the other kids wants to play with her anymore, particularly since their nagging parents hold them to Hattie’s exemplary standards. There’s only one solution: to be truly, unequivocally BAD. On live television, no less. Combining some of the thrilling mischief of Eloise and the artistic pizzaz of Olivia, Hattie is a no-holds-barred heroine whose rambunctious spirit is well matched by the conversational narrative and splashy, riotous illustrations. Grown-ups might shriek in alarm, but children will enjoy Hattie’s subversive panache. Preschool-Grade 1. --Kara Dean