The tortuous journey of a magic hat, from the palms of a magician (who had little faith in it anyway) to the nest of a carrier pigeon, to the head of a scarecrow, to the closet of a little boy it had once cheated, and then back to the repentant magician, comprises the theme of a lively if confusing tale. Too many characters enter and leave the picture. Too many objects swarm through these pages.. If there is a central character, it is Wally Shoop, the little boy whose wish was never fulfilled by Bramlinger, the magician. When the hat falls into Wally's hands, he recognizes it and just before some magical plans are enacted, the hat finds its way back to the magician. But Wally is not disappointed a second time. Magical themes have a ready audience if the telling is equally enchanted. In this case, clutter supplants cleverness.