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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
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #347,264 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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!

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa1d32d08) out of 5 stars 17 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa19f2600) out of 5 stars 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
HASH(0xa19f26c0) out of 5 stars 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.
HASH(0xa19f2b70) out of 5 stars Marvelous May 16 2012
By Jessica at Cracking the Cover - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Rene Magritte is known for his surrealist paintings. He was also known for a bowler hat.

In "Magritte's Marvelous Hat," author/illustrator D.B. Johnson brings Magritte to life in the form of a dog. One day, Magritte sees a marvelous hat in a store window. He tries on the hat and it just pops up and floats above his head, and that's just the way she likes it. Magritte hurries home and finds that painting has become easy -- his hat is amazing!

The next day Magritte goes for a walk and his hat pretends to blow away. The hat loves to play, and when Magritte wants it to sit still so he can paint, the hat runs away. It's a giant game of hide and seek that ends with some of Magritte's best work.

The artwork for "Magritte's Marvelous Hat" was inspired by Magritte's work in real life. Magritte painted real-life objects like an egg, hat, apple and pipe. They make appearances throughout the book.

"Magritte's Marvelous Hat" is a marvelous read. The illustrations are beautiful and the text fun. Four transparent pages are really what make this books special, adding to the surrealist feel while being accessible for its young audience.
HASH(0xa19f281c) out of 5 stars 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.
HASH(0xa19d0e04) out of 5 stars Marvelous! April 26 2015
By Anne Boynton - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marvelous is the word for this book! It is funny. It rewards careful study of the illustrations. It promotes an appreciation of Magritte and his fellow surrealists. It has a great message about appreciation, and maintaining balance in our lives. And did I mention it is funny, too? It is a great all round package, which will be enjoyed by readers from age three thru adults. Definitely worth adding to the permanent collection.