Friday, January 29, 2021

The Hatmakers


The Hatmakers is a rollicking adventure for young readers by Tamzin Merchant. Due out 2nd Feb 2021 from Norton on their Young Readers imprint, it's 368 pages and will be available in hardcover, audio, and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. The art by Paola Escobar is whimsical and appealing and really sets off the story very well.

It's always a red-letter day when I come across a really good juvenile book. This one took me back to my own early book-loving days. A love of reading which lasts a lifetime is an incredibly precious gift and it wouldn't surprise me at all to hear someone in 20 years claim this book was the start of the bibliophile life for them. A dark and stormy night, an unexpected crash at the door, a shipwreck, and the start of a boundless adventure for young Cordelia Hatmaker who is brave, loyal, resourceful, and magical. There are so many cool details in the storytelling and the book itself that it's hard to narrow down to a few. The characters are wonky and wonderful. There is an abundance of whimsy, but it doesn't detract from the fact that it's really well written and put together. I loved loved loved the addition of a glossary at the end containing an abbreviated herbal ingredients (with funny made up (but appropriate) botanical names).

I enjoyed this one very much and would recommend it without reservation for public and school library acquisition, gift giving to a 9-12 year old friend/family, or as a bedtime read for precocious younger kids. 

Five stars. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.


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