Book Review: This is Not My Hat

Rating: ★★★★☆

Here’s another hat-stealing yarn from Jon Klassen, a follow-up to I Want My Hat Back. This time we hear the perspective of the thief, who boasts that he has stolen his hat from a big fish who was sleeping. He goes on to claim the fish won’t wake up soon, as we see the hatless Big Fish waking up, annoyed.  With each statement the thief’s proclaims his expectation of getting away with it, and Big Fish shows us just how wrong he is.  In the climax, the thief rationalizes his action: “I know it’s wrong to steal a hat…. But I am going to keep it. It was too small for him anyway. It fits me just right.” He reaches his hiding place, with Big Fish in close pursuit. They both go in. Only Big Fish comes out… wearing the hat. The end.  It’s up to the reader to determine whether the thief was eaten or merely intimidated by Big Fish.

If you reeeally stretch it, you can get a moral message out of it: “Crime Doesn’t Pay.”  Or maybe, “Don’t Pick on Big Fish.” But a moral lesson isn’t the point. This another well-crafted, highly accessible object lesson in ironic humor: The thief repeatedly makes claims the reader knows are false, and our ability to be “in the know” makes the final confrontation utterly satisfying.

It’s best suited to an elementary audience, although all ages will probably find it funny. The text is simple enough that early readers can probably handle it.

 

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Publication Information: Klassen, Jon. This is Not My Hat. Walker Books Ltd.. 2014. ISBN: 978406353433.
Categories: 4 Stars, Age 04-08, Easy Readers
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Posted on November 20, 2014


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