With few words and simple pictures author Jon Klassen is able to build characters with nuance and personality. From the downtrodden turtle, to the oblivious snake, to the earnest main character of the bear, we understand their behavior with very little context. But all of that is rather deep for a book about a bear looking for his hat. Yes, Bear has lost his hat and he wants it back. He goes from woodland creature to woodland creature asking if anyone has seen it. Bear is very sincere, if not too bright. Indeed, sharp-eyed children will see that Bear should have noticed exactly where his hat is – and no, it’s not already on his head. Rather than taking a look around him, Bear simply believes everyone who tells him they haven’t seen his hat.
Klassen’s earth-toned, almost rustic illustrations are bathed in red as Bear is hit with the realization that he HAS seen his hat. It’s not giving anything away to say that Bear does eventually get it back. And when he does, you can almost feel Bear’s contentment as he simply states, “I love my hat.” But that’s not the end of the story. I Want My Hat is best suited for older children who will appreciate the humor and not be disturbed by the twist at the end. It was the recipient of a 2012 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor and the 2012 E. B. White Read Aloud Award for Picture Books.
Check the WRL catalog for I Want My Hat Back.