In this whimsical spin on a magician’s rabbit-in-a-hat trick by veteran children’s book author/illustrator Satoshi Kitamura, Hattie the rabbit is a magician whose black top hat is full of surprises. Readers are encouraged to repeat the magic words (“abracadabra, katakurico/What’s in the hat?”) and before turning to the next page, guess what will pop out of Hattie’s hat, based on a hint of what’s inside. Glimpses of pointy ears and a bushy tail aren’t unexpected, but is that a tentacle poking above the hat’s brim? As each animal is revealed, the others look on with varying expressions of concern and anticipation. (Kitamura’s comical large-scale illustrations are deftly rendered in pen and ink, watercolor and gouache.) And, when the last and largest occupant of the hat gets stuck, Hattie uses her last trick to double the fun for everyone.
Lynne Heffley ©2020 Parents’ Choice
A freelance writer and editor for the arts and non-profit organizations, Lynne is a former staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, where she established the paper’s first weekly children’s arts and entertainment beat