Monday, April 18, 2016

[BOOK REVIEW] This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Title:  This is Not My Hat

Author:  Jon Klassen

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

Year Published: 2012

Year Read:  2016

Candlewick Press    

Series: Hat Trilogy #2 

Source:  Library

Content Rating:  Ages 7+ (Dark Humor)

“This hat is not mine.  I just stole it.”

Reading that first sentence of the book, you just know what kind of bizarre and intense adventure you will get into when you read this book! After I finished reading “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Jon Klassen wrote another book that had a similar theme to “I Want My Hat Back!” “This is Not My Hat” is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Jon Klassen that also details the consequences of stealing and it is sure to be an instant treat for both children and adults alike!

The book starts off with an extremely small fish stating to the readers that it had just stolen a hat from an extremely large fish and that it is trying to find a place to hide from the large fish.  Unfortunately, the large fish notices that its hat is stolen and it immediately goes after the smaller fish.

Will the smaller fish be able to escape from the bigger fish?

Read this book to find out!

Wow and I must say, sir, wow again!  Jon Klassen has certainly done it again with his witty humor and mysterious endings that will have you thinking about what happened to the characters at the end of the story after you finished reading this book!  It seems to me that whenever I read most of Jon Klassen’s solo picture books such as “I Want My Hat Back” and “This is Not My Hat,” they revolve around the theme that stealing is wrong and that people who commit such acts will suffer horrible consequences.  Jon Klassen actually made the characters and the situation much more mysterious in this book than in the previous book “I Want My Hat Back” as the fish characters are much shadier in this book than the forest animals were in the previous book and therefore, it gives this book a dark and mysterious tone.  Jon Klassen’s artwork is much darker and more effective in this book as the background is constantly shown in a black color, giving the illustrations a creepy and foreboding tone and the characters are still drawn in a paper cut out style.  The images of the large fish that follows the small fish throughout the story are extremely large as it takes up most of the pages and you can feel the threatening presence that the large fish gives to the story.

Parents should know that the ending of this book is a bit dark (if you can read between the lines of the situation between the big fish and the small fish) and a bit ambiguous (as we really do not know the fates of one of the characters at the end of this book).  This might frighten small children who might not understand about the implications of the ending and parents might want to read this book first before showing it to their children.

Overall, “This is Not My Hat” is a brilliant and hilarious (in a black comedy kind of way) book about how stealing from other people is wrong and that it brings about its own consequences.  I would recommend this book to children ages seven and up since the ending might frighten and confuse some younger readers.

* 2013 Caldecott Medal
* 2013 Canadian Booksellers Association Libris Award for Children's Picture Book
* 2013 Irma Black Award Nominee
* 2014 Kate Greenaway Medal
* 2014 OLA Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award Nominee

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