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Magritte's Marvelous Hat Hardcover – Apr 17 2012

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April 17 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547558643
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547558646
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 25.4 x 28.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #278,048 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


"A visual tour de force...Arty, amusing and exceedingly cleve."--Kirkus "Beckoning, buoyant...brilliant."--School Library Journal, starred review "Unexpected design elements, notably reversible images printed on transparent pages, surprise readers with clever illusions and artistic allusions...Rather than magnify surrealism's sinister edge, Johnson focuses on its energy and borrows that exuberance for his own see-through pages."--Publishers Weekly, starred review

About the Author

D. B. Johnson has been a freelance illustrator for more than twenty years and has done editorial cartoons, comic strips, and conceptual illustrations for magazines and newspapers around the country. Mr. Johnson’s first picture book, Henry Hikes to Fitchburg, was a New York Times bestseller and a Publishers Weekly bestseller, as well as an American Bookseller “Pick of the Lists.” Henry Hikes to Fitchburg also won numerous awards, including the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Picture Books and the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award. Mr. Johnson and his wife, Linda, live in New Hampshire. Visit his website at!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 14 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Flight of Fancy April 18 2012
By K. Laframboise - Published on
Format: Hardcover
D. B. Johnson tells a fanciful story of Magritte, whose runaway hat leads him on adventures and encourages him to paint. The artwork, inspired by the surrealistic painter Rene Magritte, uses clear overlays that add and subtract from illustrations to spark the creative imaginations of children and explore Magritte's surrealistic view of the world. Where does Johnson get these ideas? His previous children's books have gently introduced young children to ideas based on Henry David Thoreau's philosophy and the incorporation of mathematics into art by M. C. Erscher. How dry you may think, but don't worry. Johnson's stories are engaging and amusing, and children will love manipulating the overlays in Magritte's Marvelous Hat to transform the illustrations in the blink of an eye.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A magical introduction to Modern art. June 24 2012
By An Enthusiastic Reader - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Surrealist world of Rene Magritte finds a new home in a genteel between-the-wars city populated by domestic animals, including a namesake dog who happens to be a painter. Magritte buys a hat that floats above his head, and the experience improves both his life and his art. The illustrations, carefully evoking the style of Rene Magritte, make references to many of his most important works--so much so, that you have to go through it a few times before you can be fairly sure you spotted them all (or, true to the Surrealist spirit, until the illusion overtakes you that you've done so).

The book is a delightful way to bring Modern art to children. My three-year-old boy has me read the book to him over and over. Parents--you know what that means: you've got a winner here. My son always calls out, "The hat came back!" at the appropriate moment in the story, and he shouts out again to announce when Magritte has made it back home after the adventure that drives the plot.

This is the most original children's book I've read in years, and I recommend it to all parents who want to find a fun way to lead their children onto a journey of discovery of Modern art.
D B Johnson: Genius At Work Dec 15 2013
By Michael Baker - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Don Johnson is a genius as well as an exceptional artist. This book is for any reader; it's a wonderful children's story with thrilling illustrations that cannot help but interest reader's of all ages. The design of the book is imaginative and visually unique. Buy it for a child and then enjoy it yourself!
Who doesn't love a hat wearing a dog? Dec 11 2013
By Lise Miller - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is really a story of friendship--the friendship between an artist and his inspiration, which can be a fickle thing. But the message (that being playful, lighthearted, and appreciative always brings our inspiration back) is clear, and a good one for a child or adult of any age to receive. I've given this as a gift to kids and also to grown-up artists, and it's always a hit. Who doesn't love a hat wearing a dog? The book is downright enchanting, as are all D.B. Johnson's books. I would frame every beautifully colored illustration, if its magic weren't in motion: the acetate pages in between each regular page alter the illustrations and make reading this book a dynamic experience.
Great gift for young readers Nov. 30 2013
By Phillipa Marlowe - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this as a gift for a 6-year old boy. He was thrilled! He said he had never seen anything like it before & was so excited about the story & the transparent overlays. He kept running around showing everyone. This book is delightful for adults as well as children - it is charmingly written, beautifully illustrated, & very magical & unusual in the way it's presented.