Book Review: A Hat for Ivan

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It’s a question almost every child is asked and one that every child contemplates the answer to.

Ivan’s town is special. In Hatville everyone wears a hat. Not just any hat, but a hat that is created specifically for them by the Hatmaker. Each hat represents the special gifting and talents that the wearer possesses. It puts their occupation and style on display for all of Hatville to see.

But, poor Ivan is having some trouble. He isn’t quite sure what his hat should look like. So when he stumbles into the butcher shop and accepts a hat made for him by the over-zealous butcher, he wonders why it is so big that it falls down over his eyes causing him to bump into everything. The one thing he had felt pretty confident about was that his hat would fit him perfectly.

Feeling a little less confident, he stumbles his way into the piano shop, where yet again he is given a hat made by someone who wasn’t the Hatmaker. This continues to happen, Ivan accepts hats that aren’t made or meant for him, and he becomes overwhelmed, over burdened, and in the end…. well the trouble becomes so unnecessary.

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This is a great picture book to stir the thoughts of any age. For the child, it causes them to consider, “What do I want to be when I grow up?” “What do I really like to do and what talents has God given me?” The teenager is encouraged not to worry about the future. The ‘Hatmaker’ has only one hat and one beautiful and amazing life tailor-made just for them. And as parents, we are reminded to be watchful as our children grow, asking ourselves, “Who is this child of mine?” “What does God have for them?” “What do they really love to do?” “What special gifting and talents does he or she have?”

In the end Ivan realizes that the Hatmaker loves him most of all, and though others meant well by giving him their hats, he is really only called to wear the one hat created and designed just for him. It’s the only hat that fits perfectly and brings true peace and contentment.