The Pink Hat
32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99
At first there wasn’t a pink hat but after some deft weaving of a skein of wool there was and its maker, an older woman, wore it all the time because it was so cosy. That is, until a cat grabbed it and had fun with it. That is, until it flew out the window as it was thrown around and landed in a tree where some children found it. But as they climbed the tree to reach it, it dislodged and fell into a stroller where a baby claimed it.
And so the pink hat’s adventures continued until it became one of millions of pink hats in the largest political march in history and became a symbol for women’s rights and recognition worldwide. Something so simple and common became so powerful.
Dedicated to the “women who march us forward” this is a masterpiece that brings the equality of half of the world’s population into sharp focus without preaching or bias but with so much scope to take the discussion further as the meaning of the placards carried by the participants – women, men and children – is explored and explained. Its power lies in its subtlety not just in the text but in the monochrome illustrations where the only pop of colour is the hat so that it is the focal point of each page while those who come into contact with it are united in their lack of colour – gender, age, ethnicity, religion and socioeconomic status become irrelevant.
As one who lived through the “bra-burning days”, who benefited greatly from what was so hard-won by the women who went before me and who has fought for the recognition of those achievements watching young girls go places and do things never before considered possible because of their gender, it bewildered me that ‘feminism’ had become the second f-word, despised, derided and almost abandoned as though it had sinister connotations. Now, with this book and another march taking place on all seven continents to continue what was begun, not only will pink hats become the hottest headwear but our young women can continue their inexorable but unending march forward.
Let the conversations begin and rise in a crescendo.
A picture book for all ages and both genders, excellent for encouraging the answers to “What is the author’s message?’ and “How has it been conveyed?”.