do not eat maor zabar’s hats!

maor10Hats off today to Tel Aviv based costume designer, milliner and educator Maor Zabar!

His head-turning, wildly imaginative, exquisitely crafted couture designs grabbed my attention recently — how could they not?

maor13I confess I’ve always loved hats but rarely wear them. I envy those who can pull them off with aplomb. These days you might catch a cool hat or two in the crowd, but for the most part, they’re no longer considered an essential element to top off an outfit.

maor6The grandson of a tailor, Maor fell in love with theatrical hats and headpieces as a teenager and went on to study fashion and costume design at Shenkar College. He’s been a costume designer for 13 years (dance, theatre, operatic productions) and took private lessons to learn how to make hats professionally.

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judy palaferro dishes about horace’s big hat!

Hats On, Hats Off — to Judy Palaferro for creating this brand new uber cool emerging reader picture book!

You may remember how much the alphabet soup kitchen helpers loved her Color Bears board book that came out last year. Well, ever since Horace’s Big Hat (Umbrage Books, 2011) arrived, they’ve been oohing and ahhing over all the delightful spreads and trying on every hat in the house.

In this exuberant riff on the “What do I want to be when I grow up?”  theme, our boy Horace tries on 12 different hats — yes, BIG ones, as he imagines himself in various professions (construction worker, baker, referee, fireman, cowboy, and artist, to name a few).

In each scenario, he’s surrounded by the “tools of the trade,” a colorful, endlessly vibrant, highly detailed smorgasbord of discovery. His adventures take him to a prairie, India, London, even the high seas. Whether he dons an artist’s beret, a turban or hard hat, he has loads of fun exercising his imagination, while the objects in each spread provide valuable visual clues to help the emergent reader figure out the words in the text.

Judy’s here to tell us a bit more about Horace and the fun she had working on this book. We thank her for sharing some finished art as well as early drafts.

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