February 2014 | Barbara Basbanes Richter



 "Brimsby's Hats," by Andrew Prahin; Simon & Schuster, $15.99 40 pages, ages 4-8.

Another Nor'easter is snarling travel and closing schools along much of the East Coast this week, so how better to take the snow in stride than by looking at a lovely new picture book that examines love, loss and  friendship, no matter what the weather brings. 

In this snowy story, we meet a hatter whose daily routine consists of drinking tea and creating fabulous toppers alongside his best friend, and this is how he happily leads his life for many years.  One day, his pal announces that he is leaving town to realize his dream of sailing the high seas.  The hatter continues making hats and drinking tea, but it's not the same.

After many days of quiet and solitude, the lonely hat maker sets out to find new friends, and comes upon a large tree filled with birds busily shoveling snow out of their nests.  What follows is a quirky examination of how friendships are built and maintained. 

Debut author-illustrator Andrew Prahin weaves a timeless tale with modern imagery -- all the art was created in Adobe Photoshop. 

Enjoy this book with little loved ones, snuggled up by the fire or under a wintry windowpane, and dream of spring.