The Hat (book)

The Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by French artist and author Tomi Ungerer. Published in 1970 by Parents' Magazine Press, the book tells the story of a poor veteran, Benito Badoglio, who becomes rich after he unwittingly gains possession of a magic hat. The book is richly illustrated and the text contains numerous vivid and mellifluous descriptions and dialog. For example, upon meeting the hat, the protagonist cries,


The Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by French artist and author Tomi Ungerer. Published in 1970 by Parents' Magazine Press, the book tells the story of a poor veteran, Benito Badoglio, who becomes rich after he unwittingly gains possession of a magic hat. The book is richly illustrated and the text contains numerous vivid and mellifluous descriptions and dialog. For example, upon meeting the hat, the protagonist cries, "Thunder of Sebastopole!"; in another scene, he shouts, "A thousand Potemkins!" Other characters in the book are "cutthroats", "brigands", a "fainting contessa", and a "dashing cadet". The author's interest in such colorful prose was explained by Selma G. Lanes in the Atlantic Monthly: "Ungerer feels strongly that children enjoy unfamiliar words and euphonious, mystifying phrases." The setting for The Hat is nineteenth century Italy, and was described by Sydney D. Long in the Horn Book Magazine as "a never-never land ..., the comic-opera pictures [of The Hat] are full of mandolin-playing musicians, splashing fountains, and apple-cheeked peasant lasses."
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