Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I Want My Hat Back

The premise of this easy-to-read picture book is simple. A bear has lost his hat. He wants it back. He proceeds through the forest asking the creatures he meets if they have seen it. Eventually, he locates his hat.

Hmmmm. War and Peace it ain't. How can such a plot-lite book be so hysterically funny? Trust me, it can. The answer lies in what isn't said in this minimalistic and clever romp. Keen-eyed viewers will spot the missing hat long before the bear does. His reaction when he finally realizes where he has seen it is priceless, and the ultimate outcome, in which justice is served, perhaps is a tad unsettling, although nothing a connoisseur of nursery tales would bat an eye at.

The simple text (the font in separate colors for each speaker) is understated and droll, as is the art. Klassen's bear protagonist looks steadily ahead, without expression, throughout most of the book. The exception comes at the story's climax, when his eyes open wide as the truth dawns. Kids will delight in finding the hat long before the bear and are sure to giggle when they decipher the punchline at the end. Highly recommended.

Other reviews at: Jen Robinson's Book Pagebooks4yourkids, A Fuse #8 Production

I Want My Hat Back
by Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, 40 pages
Published: September 2011

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