I Want My Hat Back

  • Title: I Want My Hat Back
  • Author: Jon Klassen
  • Illustrator: Jon Klassen
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication year: 2011
  • Brief Summary: From Candlewick Press: “The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor — and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke.”
  • Ideas for using this book in classroom or library – It’s no surprise that young children love a good story about animals. Many animal picture books are used to share a lesson in morality but sometimes just the absurd could be used in teaching children how to laugh. As we talked about early on in class, the ironic is something that children can and do learn early on, and this book is a good one to exemplify that type of humor. I don’t know of any particular curriculum plan this could fall under, but I think it would be a great one to use nevertheless, especially in a kindergarten or 1st grade class.
  • Whatever additional notes you’d like to add about this book and why you liked or didn’t like it. – This book is a great pairing of text and illustrations. The text only enhances the illustrations and the illustrations really hone in on the text. Such as when the frog speaks, his words are done in green, when the orange snake speaks, his words are rendered in orange. I think the hardest I (even as an adult) laughed was when the bear, giving up, lays down in mock despair as the deer is looking down at him and in an absolutely absurd, no words exchanged interaction they lock eyes. Or when the bear finally realizes that he has seen his hat, and his outrageously small eyes suddenly become huge and the background of the illustration turns red. I think partly why I enjoy this book so much is it reminds me (humor/irony wise) of the works of director Wes Anderson.

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