Inspired by the stillness that precedes a thunderstorm, I decided to stop at one of local independent bookstores (Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset) and sit and read picture books for awhile. It was the perfect way to spend an hour – and the staff was patient with my browsing. Of course, I took notes about new books to add to our school library, but I really wanted to just sit and read and look. Among the treasures I discovered was the new book by D.B. Johnson, Magritte’s Marvelous Hat. Johnson is the author of the books about Henry, the bear based on Henry David Thoreau.
Johnson’s new picture book introduces young readers (ages 6 and over) to the work of the Belgian surrealist painter, Rene Magritte. Hold on. I can guess what some of you are thinking. Look at it first. It is a totally cool book that reminds me of how much kids miss when they stop reading picture books by the first grade. In this book, Magritte is a dog. He buys a hat that, rather than resting on his head, seems to float right above it. Every page challenges the viewer’s perception and inspires wonder. There are also four “see through” pages that change the picture. Hard to explain. You have to see it.
When I got home from Buttonwood, I saw this video posted on the Huffington Post website. Unless you are very busy, take 2 minutes and 33 seconds to watch this: