REVIEWKlassen returns to the subject of hat theft in his latest picture book. This time a small fish decides to take a little bowler hat from a much larger fish. The little fish knows stealing is wrong, but “it was too small for him anyway. It fits me just right.” He reasons that the bigger fish probably won’t even miss his hat. The crab was the only one who saw him take the hat and he won’t tell, or will he?
This wry Caldecott winner offers a perfect blend of text and illustrations. Young children will be entertained by attempts of the small fish to rationalize his thieving behavior to the audience. Klassen uses the characters’ eyes to relate most of the emotion and action in the story. Readers will enjoy the variety of facial expressions as they guess what will happen to the little fish. Ultimately this subtle tale reinforces the lesson that stealing is not acceptable and perhaps even dangerous, especially for small fish in big ponds.
CONNECTIONSUse this picture book during discussions about rules or friendship. Practice role playing appropriate behaviors, including what to do if children find something that doesn’t belong to them or someone takes one of their belongings.
RELATED BOOKSSimilar humorous, conversational books for young children:
Ji, Zhaohua. NO! THAT’S WRONG! ISBN 9781933605661
Klassen, Jon. I WANT MY HAT BACK. ISBN 9780763655983
Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. DUCK! RABBIT! ISBN 9780811868655
Willems, Mo. DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! ISBN 9781423145141
Wood, Don. THE LITTLE MOUSE, THE RED RIPE STRAWBERRY, AND THE BIG HUNGRY BEAR. ISBN 9780859533300
By Kimberly C. Kinnaird