Thrilled when he finds a big red hat on a park bench, Henry imagines all the ways he will use it. He starts off small: it can keep off rain and sun. Then he imagines using it to perform magic tricks on stage, as a boat sailing far away, and as a sled racing through the snow. Even more dramatic, the hat will save his life when he rams it into a crocodile’s jaws. But his mother asks him, “What if someone else needs that hat?” Henry goes back and revisits the scenarios: a sad magician is on stage without props; an island castaway burns in the sun; and in a hilarious double-page climactic spread, an explorer’s head pushes out from the belly of a crocodile. In his first book as both author and illustrator, New Yorker cartoonist Hoppe stays true to the child’s viewpoint, from the everyday details to the wild imaginative play, and his ink-and-brush illustrations, in elemental shades, add to the fun. Preschool-Grade 1. --Hazel Rochman
About the Author
PAUL HOPPE is an award-winning illustrator and typographer whose work regularly appears in the New York Times and the New Yorker. He has worked on several animated series for German television and has published two graphic novels in Germany. He has illustrated picture book texts, but Hat is his first one as both author and illustrator. Born in Poland and raised in Germany, he now lives in Brooklyn, New York.