Hattie & Hudson by Chris Van Dusen

In this picture book, a girl named Hattie is at a lake house with her parents. She enjoys canoeing on the lake. One day, she is so content she sings a song. This songs moves a huge, green creature deep underwater and he comes up to the surface. Hattie is not afraid of the creature, who has kind eyes and is gentle. She names him Hudson. But others on the lake are frightened by him and the townspeople hold an emergency meeting on how to rid the lake of the beast. Hattie knows she needs to come up with a plan to save Hudson. With his cooperation, they devise a plan and put it in motion the next day. The plans works and the town accepts Hudson. Visitors come from near and far to see him and all ends well. This is a sweet story about acceptance and friendship and not judging others superficially. Hattie is an admirable character – bravely standing up for Hudson in spite of opposition.

I love the watercolor illustrations – they are very detailed and bright and colorful, evoking the beauty of the lake and surrounding natural landscape. Hudson has kind eyes and beautiful, luminous skin to reflect his nature.


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