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KAT HATS by Daniel Pinkwater


by Daniel Pinkwater ; illustrated by Aaron Renier

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-4197-5194-3
Publisher: Abrams

Matt Katz is the owner of Kat Hats Incorporated, a training facility where a cat can be “patiently taught to arrange itself on the head of a person as a living headpiece.”

When Thirdbeard’s elderly mother, Chickarina, goes missing on a snowy evening, he enlists the help of Matt Katz. Thirdbeard fears that his Mommy, who happens to be a nice, harmless witch, will suffer from brain freeze since she was last seen eating “an extra-large jumbo frozen fruitsicle, blueberry and avocado flavor,” and walking hatless up a steep mountain known as Witch's Spitz. Luckily, Matt's beloved and most successful kat hat, Thermal Herman 6⅞ths, has only just returned from a trip to Nepal. With one look from Matt, Thermal Herman 6⅞ths rushes out into the falling night. Aided by a madcap motorcyclist and a random moose who is “using his antlers as a hat rack” for some unspecified reason, the plucky cat saves Chickarina and brings her home, warmly hatted. This zany picture book is delightfully replete with straight-faced nonsense and atypical characters, many of whom have green skin and long, pointy noses. White, androgynous Matt wears colorful, mismatched socks and is husband to the always-fly, brown-skinned Glamorella, whose clothing and hairstyle change in every scene. Their son, Pocketmouse, is an aspiring magician who happens to use a wheelchair, and their daughter, Lambkin, wears a jester’s costume and is forever performing circus tricks. The bright and busy gouache illustrations are chock-full of offbeat, whimsical details that tell parallel stories of their own. (This review has been updated for factual accuracy.)

Flamboyantly fanciful and so much fun!

(Picture book. 4-8)