we asked nicely the first time

After hearing about this book from some of the other librarians I ordered it for Mummy Dearest's kids, Big Fish and Little Fish, for Christmas; and as Amazon was shipping it south, I was eagerly awaiting a copy from another library.

Jon Klassen's I Want My Hat Back was an epiphany for me. It made me feel like some of my adult rages have been justified: you ask nicely so many times, allow for others to do the right thing and then when they don't, you lose your damn mind a little bit. Don't get me wrong, kids won't walk away with that message, well, just read it, you'll see what I mean.  This book was such a riot.

We follow along as the bear goes from animal to animal asking if anyone has seen his hat. My favorite part is when the bear dejectedly lays on the ground and laments the loss of his hat, that emotion that we've all felt: a favorite possesion gone, possibly for good. It is when he is lamenting that he happens to remember someone WEARING HIS HAT! SOMEONE HE ASKED. SOMEONE WHO MUST HAVE LIED TO HIM!

The great thing about Klasssen's book is that it is simple: the language, the repetition of the bear asking about his hat, the colors and pictures. You know that the bear is angry and the _____ (the character who stole his hat) is scared about that by looking at their eyes, noticing that the almond shaped eyes are now half moons. Subtle. I loved it! I love kids book that make me laugh. I like feeling in on the joke...and like a kid again.

A+ Jon Klassen. Well done.

Ages: Preschool and Up


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