The Magic Hat Shop
A beautiful book that inspires inner strength. I went through a funny phase in my twenties where I wore hats everywhere? Looking back on pictures now I chuckle to myself because with each new hat I really did feel like a different version of myself. But in this book, hats magically transform each person in town, giving them precisely what they need to become their best selves.
When the squat, little hat shop initially appears, everyone eyes it suspiciously. Where did it come from? Why is it there? The first customer to creep into the store is Timid Tim, a very shy fellow. He emerges wearing a hat that seems to flip an internal switch. Suddenly, he exudes confidence and joyfully greets everyone in the square. Sad Sally comes out of the shop with a hat that bursts into butterflies, spreading smiles and cheer. The mayor, a puffed-up, ostentatious sort, is given the tiniest hat imaginable and loves it. Townsfolk (all of them white) parade around with illuminated birdcages, sparkly flowers, and fluffs of cloud on their heads—until a windstorm sweeps away not only their hats, but also the magical hat seller. Timid Tim is again the first to pluck up his courage and realize character comes from within, not from a hat. The true magic of this tale, however, is not in the lesson but in Wimmer’s luminous illustrations. Thin, swooping mustaches and fancy frocks adorn stretched, doughy figures, all with ruddy noses and cheeks. The dreamy, muted palette pops with rose and teal accents.