When the American West was first being settled, everyone wore whatever hats they'd worn back home: knit caps, wool derbies, straw sombreros. But John Stetson, a young hatmaker who had followed his dream to go west, found the short brim of his stylish New Jersey derby useless in the harsh frontier weather. He invented a "big and picturesque" wide-brimmed, high-crowned hat--a hat for the bullwhackers, mule skinners, drovers, and cowboys of the West. He called it the Boss of the Plains, and although it cost a cowboy a whole month's wages, it quickly became the most popular hat west of the Mississippi. This unusual picture-book biography, illustrated by Caldecott Honor winner Holly Meade in her distinctive cut-paper style, captures the little-known story of the hat that has come to symbolize the West--and the man who invented it. John Stetson fulfilled his dream and became an important part of the great American adventure called the West. Others did it by striking gold or blazing trails through unknown territory. He made his mark on history with a hat.