Magritte's Marvelous HAT

This post is part of Nonfiction Monday hosted today by Wendie's Wanderings and
joins It's Monday! What are you reading?
at Teacher Mentor Texts
(pub. 4.17.2012) 32 pages 

A True Tale with A Cherry On Top

A uthor and illustrator: D. B. Johnson

C haracter:  Rene Magritte, the artist, imagined as a dog in his surreal world

O verview from the jacket flap: 
     "Without pinching his ears or mussing his hair, the hat floats overhead and
helps him to paint. But can Magritte paint without it? Not in a surreal world
where paint can fly and hats can play hide-and-seek.
     ... D. B Johnson creates another masterpiece in this playful exploration
of one of the twentieth century's most celebrated artists, Rene Magritte..."

T antalizing taste: 

       "One bright day in the dark of night, the painter Magritte saw a marvelous hat in a store window.
       When he tried it on, the hat popped up and floated just above his head...
Magritte was excited about his hat. He hurried up to his room and went straight to the picture he was working on."
      For the very first time, painting was easy. His brush danced and the colors sang."

and something more:   The Author's Note says, "You try on a hat that floats in the air and leads you to a place where anything is possible and everything is impossible. This is not the 'real' world. You have entered a 'surreal' world of visual surprises... Ordinary things appear in unlikely places, and the familiar is suddenly very strange." D. B. Johnson's magical surreal illustrations, inspired by Magritte, create a world of fun and surprises. The use of the transparent overlays is such a creative concept to underscore this imaginative story. 

Today I'm giving a tour to a group of 5th graders at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and I will show them Magritte's painting, Personal Values. In this painting, he creates a paradoxical world by changing the proportions of ordinary objects -- such as a gigantic comb resting on top of a bed -- and filling a room with a blue sky and puffy clouds. Impossibly wonderful!


Lorna Wheaton said...

Thanks for sharing this title. It would be great to pair with an art lesson on the artist.

Perogyo said...

Oh this looks fantastic! I wish I had a hat that would inspire creativity.

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Lorna, Yes! And after reading Perogyo's comment, I thought that it would be fun to pair the book with an art activity of different hats that the kids design and make.

I like the title of your blog, Not For Lunch. Thanks for stopping by!

Jeanne Walker Harvey said...

Hi Perogyo! Yes, I'm certain that if I had a floating hat I would have oodles of ideas

Brimful Curiosities said...

One can never have too many hats, or books about hats! This one sounds very inspiring. Thanks for participating in the October Carnival of Children's Literature.