Synopses & Reviews
A New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of 2011!
A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist.
The bear's hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear's memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke.
"In his first outing as an author, Klassen's (Cats' Night Out) words and artwork are deliberately understated, with delectable results. Digitally manipulated ink paintings show a slow-witted bear asking half a dozen forest animals if they've seen his hat. Unadorned lines of type, printed without quotation marks or attributions, parallel the sparse lines Klassen uses for the forest's greenery. Most of the answers the bear gets are no help ('What's a hat?' one animal asks), but the rabbit's answer arouses suspicion: 'I haven't seen any hats anywhere. I would not steal a hat. Don't ask me any more questions.' In a classic double-take, the bear doesn't notice the hat on the rabbit's head until several pages on: 'I have seen my hat,' he realizes, wide-eyed. Readers with delicate sensibilities may object to the implied conclusion ('I would not eat a rabbit,' the bear says stoutly, his hat back on his head, the forest floor showing signs of a scuffle), but there is no objecting to Klassen's skillful characterizations; though they're simply drawn and have little to say, each animal emerges fully realized. A noteworthy debut. Ages 4 8. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"I Want My Hat Back is a marvelous book in the true dictionary sense of marvel: It is a wonderful and astonishing thing, the kind of book that makes child laugh and adult chuckle, and both smile in appreciation." The New York Times
"The joy of this book lies in figuring out the explicit plot from the implicit details in the pictures, especially a few wordless ones." Chicago Tribune
About the Author
Jon Klassen received the 2010 Canadian Governor General's Award for his illustrations in Caroline Stutson's CAT'S NIGHT OUT. He also created illustrations for the popular series THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE and served as an illustrator on the animated feature film Coraline. I WANT MY HAT BACK is the first book he has both written and illustrated. Originally from Niagara Falls, Canada, he lives in Los Angeles.