Magritte by D.B. Johnson


"Everything we see hides another thing, we always want to see what is hidden by what we see." —Rene MagritteD.B. Johnson writes and illustrates the surreal story of famous surrealist painter Rene Magritte and his very mysterious (and mischievous!) hat. While the art reflects some of Magritte's own work, the text sets readers on a fun and accessible path to learning about the simpler concepts behind Mr. Magritte's work.This delightful picture b...

Details Magritte

Release DateApr 17th, 2012
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
GenreChildrens, Picture Books, Art, Storytime

Reviews Magritte

  • Lauren Stoolfire
    This is such a cool and unique picture book! It's inspired by the Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte and I love how imaginative elements of his work are incorporated here in the story.
  • Dolly
    This is an unusual, but entertaining book about the artist René Magritte. We've been reading lots of books about artists recently (in conjunction with the January 2013 Books About Artists discussion in the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.) This book wasn't part of that discussion, but I doubt I would have found it if we hadn't read Dinner at Magritte's.This book features a cartoon dog in place of the actual man,...
  • Jessica Harrison
    Review via Cracking the CoverRene Magritte is known for his surrealist paintings. He was also known for a bowler hat.In “Magritte’s Marvelous Hat,” author/illustrator D.B. Johnson brings Magritte to life in the form of a dog. One day, Magritte sees a marvelous hat in a store window. He tries on the hat and it just pops up and floats above his head, and that’s just the way she likes it. Magritte hurries home and finds that painting has bec...
  • Barbara
    Inspired by the imaginative artwork of Belgian artist Rene Magritte, the author/illustrator recreates his world and considers how he might have been inspired to paint ordinary objects in unusual ways. The use of four double-sided overlays helps readers understand the artist's vision. In this story, the inspiration for Magritte's work is a floating hat he purchases. Because the hat is so playful, Magritte spends many hours chasing after it, and hi...
  • Donalyn
    Inspired by the work of surrealist painter, Rene Magritte, D.B. Johnson creates a visually entertaining story of Magritte, a dog and painter, and his marvelous floating hat. Readers will enjoy combing through the illustrations over and over to find the illusions and hidden images.
  • Dichotomy Girl
    "Read it. It was about Magritte. He got paint splashed in his face. That's it. I would hug you when you read the book"(My 3 1/2 year old's review in her own words)
  • Liz Yerby
    This silly thing is my favorite kids book right now! So silly! So good.
  • Rommel Sison
    6-year-old daughter: 5 stars5-year-old daughter: 5 stars
  • Melanie
    Magritte the painter-dog finds a hat that he loves. It doesn't muss his hair or pinch his ears because it floats above his head! Magritte also learns that it makes him a better painter, too. However, when the hat goes missing one day Magritte finds he cannot paint at all. Off he goes to find his hat. But the hat is hiding from him. Well, two can play that game. The hat finds Magritte back at home and this time lands on his head.Children will enjo...
  • Heidi-Marie
    I was looking for a book for storytime, and this book definitely didn't fit what I was looking at. I don't think the preschool crowd would follow what was going on. Maybe a school-age, who would also appreciate the pictures more. However, I've never been the biggest fan of surrealism. At least, not in art. Never fully got it. But I can appreciate it and there is plenty in this book that will get the reader, especially kids, to have to look twice....
  • Tina Rae
    Honestly I think I just love children's books a little more than a twenty year old should, haha. But something about this one just didn't strike me as completely fabulous. I liked the story and I liked its message and I LOVED how some of the pages were see through so when you turned the page, it changed the scene on the previous page. (Yes, I'm a nerd and I love things like that.) But something about the story just didn't strike me as completely ...
  • Amanda
    Magritte's hat is in fact an illustrated picture book story about Rene Magritte the famous surrealist artist. The interesting twist is the characters are not people, they are dogs. The use of transparent overlay pages give readers a fun way to interact with the illustrations. The illustrations themselves brought some of Magritte's famous works of art to life, all while following a dog, who is following a hat through the story. Great book to intro...
  • Rebecca
    Totally awesome book about Magritte (as a dog) using clear overlay pages and visual tricks to get at some of his most famous surrealist motifs (especially the hat). So much to look at here; I'm sure I didn't see all of it. Don't miss this clever book!A good review and book trailer is here:
  • Robin
    What a great book this is! I can't wait to use this for story class next time. It's such a great combination: teaching kids about an artist while entertaining them with a fun story with cool overlay pages! UPDATE: Dennis Johnson was on a panel at SLJ's Day of Dialog in June so I was able to get him to sign this book for me. How very cool is that?
  • Leslie L
    For the kids: A wonderful introduction to Rene Magritte's work and surrealism. We had a great time comparing the book to Magritte's paintings.
  • Cheryl
    Brilliant, creative... I don't have the vocabulary to say anything helpful about it, but if you like surrealism (or want some help appreciating it) I highly recommend this. Do be sure to read with care; much of the story is told in secretive details in the illustrations. More help is in the author's note.I am so glad I discovered the marvelous Henry books, and now I see Johnson has art books, too. Oh my.
  • Josh Sonii
    This books starts of with a dog named Magritte seeing a nice hat in the window. He tried it on and it just floated above his head. Magritte loved it so he left, but the hat maker told him that it would blow away. Magritte walked all the way home and it did not go anywhere. He loved his hat so he ran home to draw a picture and it was his best picture yet. One day he went on walk with the hat and people laughed when they saw it. The hat wanted to p...
  • Treasa
    A beautiful and fascinating picture book about a dog painter, loosely based on the artist Rene Magritte. The story follows Magritte as he buys a hat that floats and moves on its own, is inspired to paint because of the hat, loses the hat, and is eventually reunited with the hat. The story itself is perfectly fine - nothing extraordinary, but enjoyable and sometimes quite clever. But this book gets its stars from the illustrations and the super fu...
  • Chelsea
    2013 ALSC Notable WinnersJohnson, D B. Magritte's Marvelous Hat: A Picture Book. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 2012. Print. 32 p.Using computer generated illustrations the author has developed a playful, dreamlike picture book for young readers. Presented on round-edged pages, the story introduces children to surrealism. Magritte, the dog, gets a new hat which floats above his head and helps him to paint. Upon walking around town, ...
  • Caryn Caldwell
    In this surrealistic romp, the author reimagines Belgian painter Rene Magritte as a dapper dog. When Magritte buys a floating bowler hat in a shop, he discovers that he can now paint better than ever before. The hat is playful and wants to explore Magritte's world with him, but as Magritte grows more enamored of his painting, he ignores the hat. When the hat retaliates by flying off, Magritte finds he can no longer paint the way he used to. How w...
  • Eyehavenofilter
    Magritte was one of a group known as "surrealists" . Free thinkers, not just painters, but poets, photographers, filmmakers, and musicians. Magritte pushed the boundaries of art by painting both what was "there" and what was" not there" his famous painting of the floating hat is obviously the inspiration for this fanciful book.It is filled with lovely surprises, both verbal and visual. Ordinary objects find themselves in extraordinary places, and...
  • Sean Kottke
    This is a delightful introduction to Magritte and surrealism for young readers, but one that demands multiple readings and thoughtful meditations on its rich imagery to really enjoy. Definitely not a good candidate for a quick read-aloud, but a perfect vehicle for helping young readers interrogate visual media and enter into Magritte's world. My only quibble is the only sporadic use of one of its cleverest devices: clear pages presenting overlays...
  • Asho
    What a great find on the New Picture Books shelf at the library. This book is just plain cool. I don't know much about Magritte or his artwork, so my son and I enjoyed this simply as a picture book. The surrealist artwork provides so much to point to and talk about on each page. My 22-month-old son's favorite game right now is "That's not a hat!" so it was fun to have an actual hat to look for throughout this book. The fancy clear overlays that i...
  • Kristina Jean Lareau
    I thought I was going to dislike this book because the images look as though they are rendered digitally. And it is quite possible that they are, but the influx of surrealist references and hidden hats turned my head. Not knowing the references immediately, I thought the author was using gimmicks to sell the book (there are several clear pages that have double-sided illustrations). But when I realized that Magritte was THE Rene Magritte, a little...
  • Judy Desetti
    This one would be great to use to teach about surreal art. This one will take a more sophisticated reader to see how when the dog looks into the window he sees the back of his head not his face. The dog's hat floats above his head and helps the artist loosen up and see the possibilities in all situations. The point is to help the reader and viewer to consider viewing the world from a different perspective. To change the way we see the world. The ...
  • Guillermo
    Exposure to art is equally important to a child’s development as reading. In his book, Magritte’s Marvelous Hat, D.B. Johnson infuses the joys of art and reading. Not only does Johnson name his character after René Magritte, his illustrations are riddled with references to the Belgian painter’s work. Interaction is also a must, so Johnson added in a few “clear” pages containing images that create new illustrations when they are turned....
  • Jayna
    Ages 4 and up Magritte is found by a magical hat that floats above his head that makes him paint better. When Magritte upsets the hat it floats away and Magritte has to find it by playing a game with it. Unusual illustrations make the book interesting. This book could be used for a story time about art as the hat helps Magritte to paint better. You could use this book to talk to the children about how much they like to draw and write. Encourage p...
  • Erin
    This book is great for older readers! The pictures are marvelous and the story comes to life of the famous artist through a dog. Readers are captivated as the dog tries to paint due to his new magic hat, but the hat will not let him. I think it is really unique that some of Magritte's real work is featured in the book itself. I think young children in the upper elementary school grades will really enjoy getting to know the type of art that this a...