Book #232: Brimsby’s Hats

Brimsby's Hats -- coverHere’s a very lovely and strange new book by a guy named Andrew Prahin, who lives in London. It’s about a hat maker who has a very good friend. The hat maker makes very nice hats and the friend makes very nice tea. They visit every day for years, until one day the tea maker reveals that he has always dreamed of being a sea captain, and away he goes. The hat maker is very sad, and he begins a search for some new friends.

Here’s a picture of the hat maker, Brimsby, as he trudges woefully through the snow in search of a new friend. Look at his little house in the distance.

Brimsby's Hats -- snow

He comes upon some birds, but they are too busy shoveling the deep snow out of their nests to make any time for him. Inspired by this rather sad situation, the hat maker goes home and makes a bunch of hats for the birds. He figures they can use the hats to warm themselves up, which they do. The birds are pleased with their new domiciles and become fast friends with the hat maker. The end of the story shows Brimsby and his bird friends visiting the old friend at a faraway seaside town. They talk about hats and shovels and ships, and that’s pretty much the end of the story.

I’m no picture book reviewer, but these illustrations remind me a little of Ren and Stimpy, which is either a great thing or a horrible one, depending on how you feel about that completely depraved nineties cartoon. It looks like the illustrations are all computer generated, too, which is a good or a bad thing, depending on how you feel about art and technology.

I think it’s an odd, quiet book that’s worth perusing. Do you think the hat maker essentially buys the friendship of the birds by building them all hat homes? This came to mind as I was reading. But I’m a little cynical.  Perhaps Brimsby was just doing something nice and was fortunate enough to end up with some new feathered friends.  ABZ

Brimsby's Hats -- tea


Brimsby's Hats -- hat tree

Click to enlarge. I wondered how those hats didn’t catch on fire…


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