Magritte’s Marvelous Hat : Surrealism for Kids

Posted filed underBooks, Kids, Surrealism.


“Everything we see hides another thing . . . we always want to see what is hidden by what we see.” —René Magritte

D. B. Johnson writes and illustrates the surreal story of the famous surrealist painter Rene Magritte and his very mysterious (and mischievous!) hat. While the art reflects some of Magritte’s own work, the text sets readers on a fun and accessible path to learning about the simpler concepts behind Mr. Magritte’s work.

This delightful picture book captures the playfulness and the wonderment of surrealist art. Four transparent pages add yet another level of surrealism to the illustrations, as pictures can be altered with the turn of a page.

Wired: “The iconic bowler hat that appears in many of Magritte’s paintings is the focus of the book, which works in sly references to many of the surrealist artist’s famous works. It floats above the dog’s head, and eventually leads to some fun adventures.

Every picture has something fun to see in it, little details that will have your kids scratching their heads, but what’s especially fun is that there are four transparent pages in the book, used to great effect. There are some images printed on both sides of the transparencies that affect the two-page spreads surrounding them, with text that goes along with it.

The story itself isn’t really based on Magritte (other than that he’s a painter) but the author’s note at the end of the book tells a little bit more about the real Magritte and surrealism. One thing about Magritte (as opposed to some other famous surrealists like Salvador Dali) is that his paintings generally don’t feel disturbing or shocking, so much as a little bit surprising and mysterious. A little more kid-friendly, if you will, which makes them the perfect inspiration for this delightful picture book.”

Amazon: Magritte’s Marvelous Hat