The Hat (Hardcover)
When Lisa's woolen stocking flies off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and pokes his nose in. He tries to pull it out, but the stocking gets stuck on his prickles -- and the fun begins.
A mother hen comes by, then a noisy goose, a talkative barn cat, a playful farm dog, a mama pig and her piglets, and a pony. They all laugh at Hedgie, especially when he pretends he's wearing a new hat. But in the end, it is clever Hedgie who has the last laugh.
And where is Lisa when all of this is going on? She's in Jan Brett's signature borders, getting ready for winter, until she realizes her stocking is missing and she enters the story to look for it.
Luminous paintings of a Scandinavian farm and the forest around it are bathed in northern light, as the snow begins to fall and the adventure unfolds.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."
As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."
Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."
"In a companion book to Brett's The Mitten (1989), a little girl decides to unpack her winter woolens from their decorated chest and hang them out on a line to air before winter comes. . . . The satisfying story celebrates the cozy hearth, home, and barnyard of picturesque Scandinavian country life, frozen in time. Brett's somber tones of pre-winter are enlivened by the intricate, colorful clothing; her fine, independent heroine is in charge of the story, and the inventive little hedgehog triumphs as well."—Kirkus Reviews