cover image Millie’s Marvellous Hat

Millie’s Marvellous Hat

Satoshi Kitamura, . . Andersen Press USA, $16.95 (26pp) ISBN 978-0-7613-5153-5

Whimsy drives both the text and airy watercolor art of Kitamura’s (The Young Inferno ) story of a girl with a creative and colorful imagination. Millie finds a fabulous feathered chapeau in an elegant shop, but has no money. When the accommodating clerk brings out an invisible hat that fits her perfectly, she reaches into her purse and gives him “all she had in it.” Prompted by items she spies while walking, Millie imagines her hat to be a peacock, a stack of bakery cakes and a bouquet of flowers, among other things. Her imagination then turns outward and she notices that passersby are also wearing hats that slyly reflect their professions, passions and inner lives (a putting green for a businessman, a seal balancing a ball for a woman burdened with a pile of parcels, a pair of angry dinosaurs for two arguing boys). Sheer joyfulness leads Millie (and her hat) to sing on her way home, causing a riot of rainbows and animals to trail from her head. A cheerful tribute to a determined and optimistic imagination. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)