Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Millie's Marvellous Hat by Satoshi Kitamura (Andersen Children's Books)

Ah, what a wild and wonderful thing - a child's imagination. Satoshi Kitamura can do no wrong by us, we always seek out his books in the library and are always delighted when we find one we haven't seen before.

Like "Millie's Marvellous Hat" which is such a joyful celebration of a child's colourful imagination that it's impossible to read it just once.

Millie, a little girl, spots a beautiful and colourful hat in a milliner's window one day. When she enters the store and tries the hat on, it's absolutely perfect.

The milliner tells her the price (HOW MUCH?) but Millie opens her purse and shows him how much she really has to spend...eep.

So the hat is returned to its display, and Millie is crestfallen. Until the milliner tells her that he does have one hat that is well within her price range. The most magical hat of all.

Millie opens the box, and....it's empty! But of course, the milliner is a salesman par excellence and convinces Millie that the hat is as magical, as colourful and as fantastic as she wants it to be.

Striding with a purpose out of the store, with new hat perched proudly on her head, Millie feels on top of the world. Soon she wonders just how fantastic it would be if the whole world had a hat as magical and as marvellous as hers.

Kitamura's illustrations are so beautifully detailed. Slightly reminiscent of the great David McKee with an eye for a weird, whacky and wonderful collection of characters that Millie sees as she strides through the park on her way home.

We'll leave you to discover the rest of the book but it really is as wonderful as you'd imagine, and as imaginative as your own little marvellous Millies (and Malcolms).

Charlotte's best bit: The cat's magical hat (watch out for it as Millie makes her way across the park)

Daddy's favourite bit: I too loved that utterly wonderful double page spread as Millie makes her way home, spying all the wondrous hats people wear.

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