A hat as wishing object is nothing new, nor is the old eccentric who opts for odd pleasures over riches. Though Korbinian's neighbors suggest he wish for big cars and bags of money, he ""can do that anytime,"" and uses his flowered, incongruous hat to get an apple tree for his living room, a flute that plays itself, and a flying umbrella. And when carping friends prove bothersome, he turns the stairs to his apartment upside down and defenestrates his hat. Those ominous, Escher-like stairs I are indeed a surprise among the conventional, folk-surreal, stage-bright illustrations. Old hat.