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An invitation to explore life;

Martin's Hats, by Joan M. Blos. Illustrated by Marc Simont. New York: William Morrow & Co. Pages unnumbered. $9. While all the action in this exquisitely illustrated book takes place within a small boy's imaginings as he sits in his bedroom, readers will find themselves eagerly joining in Martin's life-affirming spirit.

From his first adventure - when he dons a ''real'' explorer's cap - to his last, complete with snuggly wool nightcap, Martin wears as many as 10 different hats. Whether it's a wedding picnic, playing the role of a T-shirted conductor on an old-style locomotive, or welding a girder high among the skyscrapers, Martin's hats aren't so much playthings as invitations to explore a number of lives. The book is really a display of boyish imaginings, all hanging together somehow with remarkable cohesiveness - the hats being the ''glue'' of the myriad experiences.

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It's not only himself whom Martin pictures wearing different hats. Most of the people he imagines throughout the book have their own favorite hats, too - all of which give, very cleverly, an inkling into each wearer's distinctive personality.

Martin's dreams are what a lot of children fantasize about: heroes saving the day! experts on the job! It's healthy, constructive musing which, in the case of this book, has the added virtue of illustrating a wide-ranging love of life, with the effect of complementing, not risking, one's own individuality.

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