I Want My Hat Back

Have you seen my hat?

What is a hat?

Thank you anyway.

I love my hat.

I love my hat.

Today we are reading … I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen (first edition 2011, Candlewick Press).

I Want My Hat Back is the deceptively simple story of a bear who has lost his hat. What if he never sees it again? WAIT! He has seen his hat…

This is a book that does more showing than telling, and this is where the mastery of Canadian author/illustrator Jon Klassen lies. The style of both the illustrations and the dialogue is minimalistic, with words and colours used sparingly to create a delicious tale in which the memorable animal characters are skillfully brought to life.

Why Leola loves it…

Excuse me, have you seen a rabbit wearing a hat?

Leola knows what the squirrel doesn’t! She is delighted to have experienced the thrill that comes from having read between the lines. Jon Klassen trusts the ability of the child reader to fill in the gaps and achieves a naughty twist without being scary or gruesome. 

Why I love it…

The beautiful illustrations use an unusually muted colour palette (dull browns and greys and just a splash of red). They are so simple, and yet they say so much. From the look in the bear’s eyes we know exactly what he’s thinking.

This is the rare kind of book that offers me sublime insights into my children’s capacity to comprehend the unwritten story. It’s a book that makes us laugh when we read it and smile when we think about it. It is nothing short of perfect.


About Claire

I have worked as an editor, a criminal defence lawyer and a family violence lawyer in a community legal centre. Now it's all about writing, writing, writing (and my three little people at home). I want to draw on my experience working with survivors of family violence and create sensitive, big hearted fiction that (without preaching) helps to empower women and girls with the tools to reject family violence from their lives.
This entry was posted in Amazing illustrations, Books for preschoolers, Claire's favourites, Enjoyed by all ages, Favourite Illustrators and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to I Want My Hat Back

  1. Michaela Fox says:

    I am sold! I want my hat back sounds gorgeous and this is a glowing recommendation. And welcome back! Love hearing from Leola’s library 🙂

  2. Hannah says:

    Love the illustrations too! Great review Leola!

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