Wednesday, April 6, 2016

I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen








Genre:  Animals / Honesty / Black Comedy / Revenge / Children's

Year Published: 2011

Year Read:  2016

Publisher:
Candlewick Press    


Series: Hat Trilogy #1 






“My hat is gone.  I want it back.”

I will admit that when I first looked at the cover of this book, I actually thought that this was going to be a pretty boring book due to how simplistic the artwork looked.  Now, after reading “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen and seeing that this book was nominated for several literary awards such as the Irma Black Award Nominee and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award,  I seriously believe that this is one of the best darkly humorous children’s books I had ever read!

Bear had lost his precious hat and even though he asked every animal he comes across, no one has seen his hat (although that Rabbit looks a bit suspicious).  Bear thinks that he will never find his hat again, until he realizes that he had actually seen his hat somewhere…

Will Bear get his hat back?

Read this book to find out!


Wow…just wow…even though I had read many children’s books that were dark and humorous at the same time, I had never read a children’s book quite like this one!  Jon Klassen’s writing is truly unique as the storytelling is simplistic, as it just details the bear trying to find his hat. But towards the end, this book takes on a whole new level of black comedy that unlike most examples is handled in a rather subtle yet sinister way!  I also loved some of the witty dialogue that Jon Klassen put into this book, such as the bear’s conversation with the rabbit:

“Have you seen my hat?”

“No.  Why are you asking me.
I haven’t seen it.
I haven’t seen any hats anywhere.
I would not steal a hat.
Don’t ask me any more questions.”

“OK.  Thank you anyway.”

Jon Klassen’s artwork is simplistic, yet effective for the story being told here and I really loved the images of the Bear being drawn as a big brown animal that has a spaced out look on his face which makes you wonder if he is aware of the situations happening in this book.  However, when the bear finally figures out what happened to his hat, the image of the bear having a surprised look on his face while the background becomes red is surprisingly jarring for the book’s quiet storytelling up until the last few moments of this story.


Parents should know that the ending of this book is pretty dark and although I will not reveal what happens at the end since I do not want to spoil this book for anyone who has not read it yet, let us just say that this conversation between the rabbit and the bear becomes much darker towards the end:

“Have you seen my hat?”
“No.  Why are you asking me.
I haven’t seen it.
I haven’t seen any hats anywhere.
I would not steal a hat.
Don’t ask me any more questions.”

“OK.  Thank you anyway.”

Parents should check to see if their children understand black comedy and read this book themselves to see if small children can handle the rather dark ending.


Overall, “I Want My Hat Back” is seriously one of the most unique children’s books I had ever read and anyone who loves black comedy in children’s books will get a kick out of this book! I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the ending might disturb smaller children.

* 2011 Selezionato Mostra Internazionale d’illustrazione per l’infanzia di Sarmede 
* 2012 Irma Black Award Nominee 
* 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor
* 2013 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for Bilderbuch


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