It’s time for some classic Klassen. The hat trilogy is a funny favourite of all ages all over the world. So today, we celebrate a hat-trick of hats from Jon Klassen: I want my hat back, This is not my hat and We found a hat.
1. I want my hat back.
Have you seen Bear’s hat? It’s red and pointy and Bear has lost it. Bear really loves that hat and wants it back.
Bear asks everyone he meets if they’ve seen his hat. But no-one can help, not even Rabbit, “I haven’t seen a hat. Why are you asking me? I wouldn’t steel a hat. Don’t ask me any more questions.”
Bear has no luck asking around. And, he can’t remember where he saw it last, until …
What I love about Klassen is the way he involves the reader in all three of the books. Here, he lets you in on all the goings-on and leaves it up to you to ultimately decide who stole the hat and what happened to whoever it was that stole the hat. By the way, has anyone seen Rabbit?
2. This is not my hat
Little Fish has just stolen Big Fish’s hat while he was sleeping. Little Fish thinks Big Fish won’t know it’s missing. And even if he does, by the time he wakes up, Little Fish will be long gone and there’s no way Big Fish will know where he is.
Hmm, will Little Fish get away with his crime?
Little Fish is talking to the reader openly about a crime he has committed and tries to justify to the reader why. But the problem for Little Fish is that Big Fish has woken and he does know his hat is gone.
Little Fish swims deep into the ocean and into the reeds where Big Fish will never find him.
Big Fish swims deep into the ocean and into the reeds where nobody can see anything.
Klassen uses visual humour so well that again the reader is in on everything that is going on and experiences the tension right to the end.
Nice hat, Big Fish. Has anyone seen Little Fish?
3. We found a hat
Two turtles have found a hat. They found it together. And it looks really good on both of them.
It wouldn’t be right for one of them to keep the hat. The only thing to do is leave the hat and get on with their lives. Yes, just leave it and walk away.
Klassen offers up a huge conundrum for his characters and the readers. Heck, even I wanted to go back for the hat. Again, it’s the visual telling of the tale that builds anticipation as the Turtles’ eyes shift back and forth from the hat. The anticipation builds through the story, before taking an unexpected turn.
I take my hat off to Klasssen for the way in which he finishes this hat-trick of hat stories, because friendship should always win out.
Check out more Klassen Classics here on his site: https://jonklassen.tumblr.com/
Author / Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd