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Kat Hats: 02/06/22
Kat Hats by Daniel Pinkwater and Aaron Renier (Illustrator) is a new picture book that crossed my path at the right time. Matt Katz and his family run a very special haberdashery, one made up entirely of expertly trained cats. Among them is Thermal Herman 6-7/8 who is best trained chat chapeau.
On a particularly cold and snowy day, a friend of the family comes in worried about his mother. She's wandered into the forest eating an especially large popsicle, without her hat. He's worried brain freeze with lead to a total body freeze. So it's Thermal Herman 6-7/8 to the rescue!
Cats as hats is one of those things I didn't expect to see in a book — even one by Daniel Pinkwater whose works tend towards Dadaist humor. Yet, there it was, crossing my screen on one of the social media platforms I was scrolling through. Very rarely do I literally stop what I'm doing to not only buy a book but then read said book. Kat Hats is one of those very rare exceptions.
From 1995-2014 I had a calico cat (see my blog's mascot). She was a self trained chat chapeau, though as she got older, only when I was sitting. Caligula liked to wrap herself around my head, draping her self on my shoulders. She went for a cat cloche or maybe a beret. So Thermal Herman 6-7/8 and his fellow cat hats had an instant warm spot in my heart.
Aaron Renier's colorful illustrations fill the book with diverse characters, from the people to the cats, and two magical characters. There's a lot going on for most pages, so be prepared to stop to take it all in, especially if you're reading it to a visually focused audience.