Kids rarely know all the hats their grandfathers have worn, but Henri gets a whole trunkful of history in the attic chest of his Grand-Papa.
Young Henri and his mother go for a visit to his Grand-Papa’s (known to Henri as Papa). The resident dog grabs Henri’s cap and runs upstairs with it, all the way to the attic. There sits a chest that is full of all sorts of hats: a race car driver’s, a deep-sea diver’s, a ringmaster’s, a ship’s captain’s, a pilot’s helmet. And with each one that Henri dons, he has a little imaginary adventure in the deep, high in the sky, on the ocean waves. Finally, Grand-Papa finds Henri and tells the little boy that he wore these hats in real life, as a racer and sailor and aviator and deep-sea diver. He then leads Henri up the circular staircase to the widow’s walk and points to the moon. He had wished to have an adventure there, but maybe Henri could do it for him. Wu’s storytelling is crisp and cinematic, and his artwork reflects his day job at Pixar Studios, but it is the promise of life holding adventure that drives this book. Grand-Papa had those adventures of a lifetime but now is an old and creaky gentleman, so if this old geezer could have had all those exciting times, just think what is in store for readers. Henri, his mother, and Grand-Papa all have pale skin.
A book full of the promise of remarkable experiences to come. (Picture book. 4-8)