Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Monday, May 14, 2012

Magritte's Marvelous Hat

Magritte needs a hat, but the hat he finds is very unusual indeed.  Instead of sitting on his head, it floats above it.  Soon his hat is helping him see things in all sorts of new and innovative ways.  But a special hat needs special attention...

Magritte's Marvelous Hat by D.B. Johnson is my current children's fine art favorite.

Explaining modern art concepts such as surrealism to young children can be a difficult task.  With this book, rather than attempt to delve into the historical and autobiographical realities of Magritte's life and work, Johnson fictionalizes his entire account, inserting the painter's iconic works into the world he inhabits.  This extends the concept from simply a series of funny pictures to a way of looking at the world.  The transparent pages found throughout the story reinforce this by making minor changes to the panels on either side of them, making for a creative and fun journey into the mind of an artist.

Magritte's Marvelous Hat is published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children and retails for $16.99 (hardcover).  I got my advance readers copy from the publisher (although this review was not solicited or otherwise compensated.  You can get yours at Left Bank today!

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