While perusing the new picture book additions to the catalog recently, I came across a delightful new book I've told everyone about, including colleagues, friends, and my nieces and nephews (to whom I sent a copy to enjoy at home). Now, dear reader, it is your turn to learn about Kat Hats.
Written by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Aaron Reiner, Kat Hats is set "in the old city of Pretzelburg," home to Kat Hats Incorporated. This company does not make hats for cats to wear. Rather, it trains cats to serve as hats—warm and furry living headpieces for human persons.
The pride and joy of Kat Hats Incorporated is Thermal Herman 67/8ths (his name is a hat size; HA!), "the warmest cat ever known." While visiting the Katz family one evening—Kat Hats Incorporated owner Matt Katz, his wife Glamorella, and their children Pocketmouse and Lambkin—Thermal Herman 67/8ths' skills are called upon in to rescue a local friendly witch named Chickarina, who is feared lost on a frigid mountain peak.
Off dashes Thermal Herman 67/8ths into the night. He encounters some obstacles—every hero's journey has some—but he soon finds Chickarina and forms himself into a "stylish witch-lid," just in time.
This a weird and wondrous book. It is by turns silly and wry, offering plenty for both kids and adults. There is lots of humor in the illustrations as well, and intentional details (such as the multicultural Katz family) that make this more than just a funny book. Kat Hats is an ideal picture book for those who love cats, staying warm, or who love a happy ending.