Book Review: I Want My Hat Back

Rating: ★★★★☆

A bear realizes his hat is missing and goes to look for it. He meets a fox, frog, rabbit, turtle, beaver, deer and snake in his search, and asks each of them if they have seen it. None of them has. Then he realizes that the rabbit (who answered defensively that he would not steal a hat) was actually wearing it. He confronts the rabbit and recovers his hat. A squirrel happens by and asks if he’s seen a rabbit with a red hat.  He answers defensively that he would not eat a rabbit. The end.

Okay, some parents may have concerns with this book. Not only does one animal eat another animal, but the bear’s revenge is far disproportional to the rabbit’s offense. It makes a lousy moral story. But it’s not a moral story – it’s a joke, and a more complex one than you usually find at this reading level. The irony of both characters defensively lying in a way that betrays their own guilt is screamingly hilarious to elementary-aged children (at least once they understand the joke). The illustrations aren’t spectacular, but the well-crafted, meticulously timed humor is really worth reading. It’s even told in simple enough words that early readers can handle it alone.

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Publication Information: Klassen, Jon. I Want My Hat Back. Walker Books Ltd.. 2012. ISBN: 1406338532.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08, Easy Readers
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Posted on November 19, 2014

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