All the grown-ups in Ivan's village wear a hat that shows what they love most. Because Ivan's father is the hatmaker, Ivan gets to watch his father create a hat that is perfect for each person. Ivan wonders what kind of hat he will have. Will he be a musician? A baker? A palace guard?
Ivan doesn't need to worry about his future because his father, the hatmaker who loves him most, shows him that there is only one hat--and one life--created just for him.