This wordless picture book tells the detailed of story of Boy. He’s late for his train and in the rush to get out of the house he drops his favourite hat. The scene is set and so the adventure begins. Dog picks up the hat, following Boy through rush-hour crowds, on trains, up escalators, along roads and through stations to catch up with Boy and give him his hat.
It’s a debut picture book from Kate Prendergast, whose comprehensive knowledge of the transport industry in which she worked for many years is manifest. The detail of the observational drawing is impressive as she brings the two characters to life and envelops them in the narrative. The story is paced by the use of whole and split page images, rushing the reader headlong into the chase, only to bring them to a halt with a double page spread at the foot of the crowded escalator.
Colour is minimal, as the images are in soft pencil, with just the red striped hat providing colour on every opening. This is a positive, warm urban story about friendship, overcoming obstacles and persistence. It’s a story to be valued by young readers for its own sake, but also a book for older readers to peruse in order to understand the role of visual grammar in picture books.