{book} this is not my hat

DAY 30

This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press, 2012. ages 3 & up

I know I reviewed a Jon Klassen illustrated picture book, but I couldn’t resist this follow-up to I Want My Hat Back, a favorite of 2011. I was skeptical though. I mean, I Want My Hat Back was so good and was he just capitalizing… You will be delighted and potentially disgusted to know that This is Not My Hat is excellent in many ways similar to I Want My Hat Back, yet still its own.

A little fish steals a big fish’s hat. He isn’t apologetic, in fact, he is quite bold to tell his audience that he is going to get away from it. First the big fish will not wake up until he is long gone. He won’t know who took it, and the crab will not tell him where the thief and hat have gone. And the big fish will certainly not find the little fish in the forest of plant-life.

Of course, as he is boasting in text we see the opposite happening in illustration. No extravagance needed. And how does it end? Yeah, stealing is bad.

You see how the style is much the same, and there is a sequence of the big fish returning past the crab which reminds one of I Want My Hat Back, too. He returns with great color, density, texture and scale. But Klassen creates differentiation: landscape instead of portrait, black backdrop vs white, underwater instead of above, and the hats are shaped differently. Also the tone, the boasting as opposed to the query.

This is one to be experienced to fully appreciate, especially if you are needing a good laugh.

{images belong to Jon Klassen}

L’s review of I Want My Hat Back

Published by L

I read, and I write. and until recently, I sold books.

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