cover image Hooray for Hat!

Hooray for Hat!

Brian Won. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-544-15903-7

In this debut, Won explores the way a simple gift and a little attention from friends can have nearly magical healing properties. “When Elephant woke up, he was very grumpy,” Won starts, drawing the elephant with dark frowning eyebrows and scribbly black lines above his head. The doorbell rings. “Go away! I’m grumpy!” he scowls. But the delivery is a box full of hats, and Elephant cheers right up after putting them on in a tall stack: “I’ll show Zebra!” His good deed has the knock-on effect of a line of dominoes. Zebra and the animals that follow are all grumpy, each gets a hat, and the cheer spreads. Won’s retro-style artwork uses muted hues and gives forms volume with watercolor-style shading. Owl’s hat is a sort of graduation cap meets awning affair, while Elephant’s has both a cuckoo and a handy cupholder. “I love this hat,” Lion says when they arrive at his cave. “But I can’t cheer while our friend Giraffe is not feeling well. What can we do?” Readers will know the answer to this one. Ages 4–8. Agency: East West Literary Agency. (June)