Review – I Want My Hat Back

Tonight we read a modern classic which has been in our #tbr pile for ages – I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen.

The star of the story is Bear and he opens things up feeling rather sad because his hat has gone and he wants it back. He sets off in search of his hat and meets a range of characters who cycle through the same conversation;

Bear – Have you seen my hat?

Animal – No (followed by explanation)

Bear – Ok. Thank you anyway.

Such is Bear’s melancholy, he misses an obvious encounter with his hat and ultimately finds himself wallowing in self-pity and resigned to not seeing his hat again. That is until a chance encounter with a moose sparks a memory and Bear sets off on a run! But will he be too late? And what will happen if he does catch up with his hat thief? There’s only one way to find out…

This is a well-read, well-known, modern picture book for very good reason. It is both delightfully and deceptively simple, original and packed with deadpan humour. There is also a subtle warning about how giving in to sadness can lead to missed opportunities which I think is an important message. Simple illustrations allow the characters and the repetitive prose to standout and take centre-stage.

A cracking effort that children 3 and up will enjoy and be eager to come back to again and again. There is plenty to explore with older readers in terms of feelings and reactions (the ending proved controversial for us!). T told me, “I did like that one lots and when the bear remembered and shouted.” He recalled the story really well in tonight’s solo read…

You can get a copy of tonight’s read via the link below.

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