As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

July 18, 2012

I WANT MY HAT BACK by Jon Klassen, 2011

A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist. 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. (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Laura Madsen, mom, veterinarian & writer

I WANT MY HAT BACK is the funniest picture book I’ve read in a long time. It’s rather hard to write a review of a picture book that contains less than 200 words, but I’ll try!

The story is told entirely through dialogue and follows a big, fat bear as he asks other animals if they’ve seen his hat. He asks a fox, a frog, a rabbit (who is wearing a pointy red hat, has a devious expression on his face, and answers the bear evasively), a turtle, a snake and an armadillo. The poor bear collapses in despair, saying, “My poor hat. I miss it so much.” An elk wanders by and asks the bear, “What’s the matter?” The bear starts to describe his missing hat (red and pointy) and realizes, “I HAVE SEEN MY HAT.” I won’t spoil the ending by telling you what happens to the thieving rabbit, but kids will roll with laughter.

My daughters, ages 5 and 7, ask for this book every night at story time. They laugh hysterically, especially at the end. Highly recommended for kids in the four-to-eight-year-old range. Younger kids probably won’t understand the twist ending but will enjoy the pictures.

Book formats:


Anonymous said...

Oh my, I LOVE this book. It's so...unexpected for a children's book! Thanks for the terrific review!

Anonymous said...

We had it for six weeks from the library and the kids loved it so much I had to buy a copy. I plan to give copies to all my nephews for Christmas this year!

ken said...

I love this book and kids will too. I especially love the subtle ending.