I Want My Hat Back
Jon Klassen, Walker Books, $19
Sometimes when I really love a book, I like to read the negative reviews on Amazon, which usually only serve to confirm my high opinion of the book in question. Highlights from the one star reviews included gems such as “Books/Stories are meant to teach. What does this one teach? If you steal/take someone’s hat, you will be killed. That is SO FUNNY! NOT!!!” and “I’m thinking of tearing out the last page and pasting in my own ending.”
I want my Hat Back must be one of the most beautifully illustrated picture books of the last ten years. It is a simple story of a bear’s search for his stolen hat, told entirely in dialogue as he goes from creature to creature trying to find the culprit. The book is hilarious but deadpan, and much of the humour comes from slight variations in the animal’s expressions. The book has a lot of possibilities for audience interaction, with plenty of repetition and a chance for kids to solve the mystery before the slow witted protagonist. This book genuinely hilarious with a mischievous twist at the end, and in all likelihood it probably won’t turn your child into a sociopath.