I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
Possibly, one of the best picturebooks I have seen in years. Truly.
I was lucky enough to get an autographed copy of this book at BEA last year. And not an ARC. An Honest-to-Goodness hardcover copy – with an autograph!! Totally psyched. Still am, apparently.
I love everything about this book. The type, the illustrations, the color palette, and of course, the story. The brown tones of the overall book work well to keep the story feeling calm, not really all that exciting at first. Just a bear looking for his hat. He asks different animals if they’ve seen his hat, no one seems to know, and the bear doesn’t really seem to be paying all that much attention. When the animals reply, they each have a different colored font to represent them. The color red plays a big role, representing the lost hat, which is red, as well as the “hat thief.” It also shows up on one entire page, as the bear realizes where his hat is. I don’t want to give any more away, because it would ruin it.
I would say that this book is not exactly for younger children, though you could get away with a different ending, as what I believe to be the true ending is more implied than stated. Even Jon Klassen would not admit to me what really happens…. 😉 Maybe 1st graders and up. Which is actually great, because I am always looking for good picturebooks for older readers. This one requires observation skills and a good sense of humor. The kids LOVE it.