Klassen, Jon. 2011. I WANT MY HAT BACK. Somerville, MA: Candlewick. ISBN 9780763655983 [Suggested Grade Levels K-2]
A bear has lost his hat and he wants it back. He asks several animals if they have seen it, but no one has. He wonders if he’ll ever see it again and then realizes HE has seen his hat and heads off to retrieve it. The book ends with a comical, macabre twist that will leave the reader laughing out loud.
Jon Klassen’s first authored and illustrated book is an uproarious, original tale. The succinct text is perfectly paired with the amusing artwork. Klassen effectively uses color throughout the book including the earthy tones of the animals, the echoing of the hues in each animal’s words, the bold red of the hat, and the fully colored page of the bear’s ultimate realization. The dominant shape of the bear, the horizontal and vertical compositions, and the effective use of white space also add to the visual appeal. This simple yet memorable story will delight readers of all ages.
Bear’s hat is “red and pointy” and another “blue and round” hat is mentioned. Children can create their own hats from basic shapes and then describe them or brainstorm a list of descriptive words to describe provided hats. Readers can name the animals Bear questions, describe them, and sequence their appearance in the story. The book can also be used to classify statements and questions. Or, the story can prompt a discussion on lying and purposeful deception.
Other amusing books about hats:
Nodset, Joan L. WHO TOOK THE FARMER’S HAT? 9780060245665
Slobodkina, Esphyr. CAPS FOR SALE. 9780060257781
Other picture books offering unique humor:
Brown, Peter. CHILDREN MAKE TERRIBLE PETS. 9780316015486
Smith, Lane. IT’S A BOOK. 9781596436060
By Jill Bellomy