‘Henri’s Hats’ by Mike Wu is a Sweet, Adventurous Story Full of Beautiful Illustrations, and Hats — Pixar Artist Showcase Series Book Review

“Henri’s Hats” by Mike Wu is another wonderful chapter in the Pixar Animation Studios Artist Showcase series of books. Get a sneak peek.
Henri's Hats by Mike Wu - Pixar Artist Showcase

Henri’s Hats, the latest release in the Pixar Animation Studios Artist Showcase series of books q(September 4, 2018) is a sweet, adventurous tale featuring Henri — a boy who just needs a little reminder that some of the best adventures take place while using your imagination, rather than your electronic device.

During a trip to his Grandfather’s house with his Mother, Henri stumbles upon a chest full of hats which he soon realizes that he can go on countless journeys when he merely places a hat on his head which ignites his imagination. A classic aviator helmet turns Henri into a pilot, a ringmaster hat allows him to perform a big-top animal feat, and a captain’s hat allows him to sail into the sunset with ease.

Henri's Hats illustration sample

All 38-pages of the hardcover book are filled with gorgeous illustrations by the author and illustrator, Mike Wu. This book really stood out to us not only because of the story of adventure, but because we really love Mike’s illustration styling. A particular spread of pages that we can’t get out of our minds is a scene where Henri first arrives at his Papa’s house. The illustrations and coloring of the buildings reminded us so much of the background styles of 101 Dalmatians (1961) — which also mirrors a somewhat similar aesthetic of Disney’s nine old men. 

Henri’s Hats also crept into our personal lives as we have since taken our hat collection and placed some of them in our Son’s play area. Now, we can go on a snowy adventure on a hot day, or we can pretend we’re Peter Pan escaping the clutches of Captain Hook before bedtime. We use our imaginations a lot around our house, so we were thrilled when the pages of the book were so relatable that they jumped right off the page and into our lives.

Henri's Hats by Mike Wu Author Notes Page
Photo via Pixar’s Instagram

Like the other Showcase Series books (published by Disney Press), there are also two pages at the end of the book which highlight Mike’s “Author Notes”. Wu tells about how the story mirrored his own life in a small way and expands on how he got to Pixar and some of the films he’s worked on.

Henri's Hats Author and Illustrator, Mike Wu with Pixar Artist Showcase Text
Mike Wu photo via Pixar’s Instagram – right photo by Pixar Post from Henri’s Hats

ABOUT MIKE WU (Author / Illustrator)

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Mike Wu is the author and illustrator of Ellie, which was selected as NPR’s best of 2015, and the follow-up, Ellie in Concert. He is also the illustrator of the Oodlethunks series. When he’s not making books, he animates at Pixar Animation Studios, where he has worked on Toy Story 3, the Cars franchise, Coco, and the Incredibles films, among other movies. He attended the California Institute of the Arts, and he is the creator of children’s clothing and gift line, Tiny Teru. Mike lives in the Bay Area with his family. Visit him online at theartofmikewu.com.


You can pick up this book by using the direct links below for AmazonBarnes & Noble or Apple Books.

Pixar Post — T.J.

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