From the writer of Tidy and The Odd Egg comes a book about hats but also an acceptance that we cannot always keep up with new fads and what’s trendy. A whimsically amusing story all about the pointlessness of vanity and the celebration of finding your own style and individuality comes this book brimming with brilliantly inventive hats for children to spot. Old Hat is a bold, colourful yet blunt book from the twice-winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, Emily Gravett.
Harbet had a hat, which his Nana had knitted it for him when he was little. Harbet likes his comfy knitted hat, but the others keep scoffing at him. Jeers of OLD HAT! OLD HAT! No matter what headwear he buys next, following in the style of those around him. Initially it is a towering fruit Carmen Miranda style platter, later a brightly lit traffic cone hat complete with head torch and reminiscent of the Duke of Wellington statue in Glasgow. But he simply cannot keep up with the fads and the trends. It is only when he decides to express his own true uniqueness that he discovers the benefit of giving up on following others and setting the precedent yourself.
Bright and vividly bold, Two Hoots (an imprint of Pan Macmillan) have published Old Hat, which addresses hiding your true character behind an array of hats, an array of possible guises. Gravett, however, attaches the moral tale that we are always best when truthfully expressing our selves.
The illustration is fantastic including the intricately elaborate sketching of the pirate ships and steamer hats, which are more than likely to make one giggle, most likely the adult. There are nods to the style of Seuss that are revealed with the removal of the hats as Harbet comes to resemble Fiffer-feffer-fef, which merely adds to the surreal and eccentric aspects of the picture book.
Another successfully illustrated and written tale from the acclaimed Emily Gravett, I am not surprised. She sets the bar high and does not falter.
Old Hat is published by Two Hoots on 18th May 2017.