cover image Kat Hats

Kat Hats

Daniel Pinkwater, illus. by Aaron Renier. Abrams, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-5194-3

This loopy tale from previous collaborators Pinkwater and Renier (Adventures of a Dwergish Girl) is predicated on the factoid that “90 percent of body heat is lost through the top of the head.” To remedy the situation, a yellow-haired, pink-skinned entrepreneur named Matt Katz rents out trained cats of “unusual furriness and warmth,” which form themselves into highly specialized chapeaus for “mountain climbers, adventurers, Arctic explorers, and people living in Chicago.” When a green-skinned witch friend of the Katz family (which includes wife Glamorella as well as children Pocketmouse and Lambkin, all brown skinned) becomes stranded up a mountain with a possible brain freeze (she was last seen eating “an extra-large jumbo frozen fruitsicle”), Katz dispatches a huge and resourceful marmalade puss named Thermal Herman 6 7/8ths, “warmest cat ever known.” The cat forms itself into a witch’s hat in a wonderful vignette of balletic moves, while the wealth of meandering character-driven asides and the story’s densely colored gouache drawings are packed with details both on point and amusingly extraneous. It’s worldbuilding at its most absurd. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb