Customer Reviews for

This Is Not My Hat

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Jon Klassen is an unassuming Canadian-born illustrator who claim

Jon Klassen is an unassuming Canadian-born illustrator who claims he never wrote anything other than emails until his controversial picturebook bestseller, “I Want My Hat Back.” This year he followed up with a Caldecott Honor Book, "Extra Yarn," written by Mac...
Jon Klassen is an unassuming Canadian-born illustrator who claims he never wrote anything other than emails until his controversial picturebook bestseller, “I Want My Hat Back.” This year he followed up with a Caldecott Honor Book, "Extra Yarn," written by Mac Barnett, and the Caldecott Medal winner, “This Is Not My Hat.”

Quite a hat trick indeed.

To recap “I Want My Hat Back”: A polite bear in search of his lost hat interviews his forest neighbors, each of whom denies having seen it. Belatedly, the bear realizes the rabbit lied, exacts revenge and retrieves what’s his.

The revenge takes place off-page but is apparently lethal. Hence the controversy.

It would be funny if “This Is Not My Hat” were a sequel in which the bear discovers – oops – the hat he took from the rabbit wasn’t his hat after all. But in fact the more recent book is about fish.

As the similar titles imply, though, it deals with similar issues, ones that will be familiar to any tyke that’s ever braved the wilds of preschool, or any fan of a Clint Eastwood western (think “Pale Rider” and “High Plains Drifter”) in which great wrong is avenged, the moral code upheld, and the universe returned to stasis.

Here is the setup: Wearing a stolen bowler hat, a little beige fish makes his getaway through the inky black sea, all the while proclaiming guilelessly that he’s going to get away with his crime: “I know it’s wrong to steal a hat. I know it does not belong to me. But I am going to keep it.”

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the thief, the hat’s big-fish owner has awakened from his nap and … the chase is on!
This apparently simple book is structurally complex. For example, the narrator is the bad guy, and if justice is to be served, he won’t be around to narrate anymore. How will the author pull this off?

Indeed, the ending is mysterious. Something happens between the little fish and the big fish in the kelp forest. We don’t know what. What we know (spoiler alert!) is the narration has ceased, and the big fish has his hat back.

Like the story, the illustrations are deceptively simple. With the tilt of a fish eye or the placement of an air bubble, Klassen conveys both motion and emotion. I also want to give him a shout-out for a crab that looks downright Eric Carle-esque, that plays a key role and serves as the literal bright spot in the appropriately subdued palette.

posted by PA-Book-Lover on January 29, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

8 out of 27 people found this review helpful.

Preview does not work. :(

Preview does not work. :(

posted by dpetie3 on January 29, 2013

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  • Posted January 29, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    Jon Klassen is an unassuming Canadian-born illustrator who claim

    Jon Klassen is an unassuming Canadian-born illustrator who claims he never wrote anything other than emails until his controversial picturebook bestseller, “I Want My Hat Back.” This year he followed up with a Caldecott Honor Book, "Extra Yarn," written by Mac Barnett, and the Caldecott Medal winner, “This Is Not My Hat.”

    Quite a hat trick indeed.

    To recap “I Want My Hat Back”: A polite bear in search of his lost hat interviews his forest neighbors, each of whom denies having seen it. Belatedly, the bear realizes the rabbit lied, exacts revenge and retrieves what’s his.

    The revenge takes place off-page but is apparently lethal. Hence the controversy.

    It would be funny if “This Is Not My Hat” were a sequel in which the bear discovers – oops – the hat he took from the rabbit wasn’t his hat after all. But in fact the more recent book is about fish.

    As the similar titles imply, though, it deals with similar issues, ones that will be familiar to any tyke that’s ever braved the wilds of preschool, or any fan of a Clint Eastwood western (think “Pale Rider” and “High Plains Drifter”) in which great wrong is avenged, the moral code upheld, and the universe returned to stasis.

    Here is the setup: Wearing a stolen bowler hat, a little beige fish makes his getaway through the inky black sea, all the while proclaiming guilelessly that he’s going to get away with his crime: “I know it’s wrong to steal a hat. I know it does not belong to me. But I am going to keep it.”

    Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the thief, the hat’s big-fish owner has awakened from his nap and … the chase is on!
    This apparently simple book is structurally complex. For example, the narrator is the bad guy, and if justice is to be served, he won’t be around to narrate anymore. How will the author pull this off?

    Indeed, the ending is mysterious. Something happens between the little fish and the big fish in the kelp forest. We don’t know what. What we know (spoiler alert!) is the narration has ceased, and the big fish has his hat back.

    Like the story, the illustrations are deceptively simple. With the tilt of a fish eye or the placement of an air bubble, Klassen conveys both motion and emotion. I also want to give him a shout-out for a crab that looks downright Eric Carle-esque, that plays a key role and serves as the literal bright spot in the appropriately subdued palette.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 19, 2014

    Well deserving Caldecott winner. Illustrations are beautiful, s

    Well deserving Caldecott winner. Illustrations are beautiful, subtle cues in the pictures tell what the narration doesn't. I don't agree with the reviewer that was so upset at the ending. Kids are not traumatized by this stuff. At least the six year old boy who brought it home to may house freom teh library wasn't. He loved it.
    Will be reading "I Want My Hat Back" next.



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  • Posted May 12, 2013

    If you are not familiar with John Klassen's work yet, then I fee

    If you are not familiar with John Klassen's work yet, then I feel really sorry for you. There are few author/illustrators out there that are as brilliant as he is. I love every single one of his books. I have friends that buy his picture books even though they don't have kids.

    The text in This is Not My Hat is simple and humorous. The illustrations are likewise simple, but expressive. Klassen's style is unique and very entertaining. I cannot say enough good things about his books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    My first grade class loved this book.

    My first grade class loved this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2013

    charming and creative

    thr story tells of a little theif who thinks he is so smart and that his victim is a big slow moving dummy who won't miss his hat nor be able to find him- but he is sooooo wrong.
    the story is adorable and the illustrations are magical.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    :Highly recommended.

    Written simply and artfully illustrated, perfect for the little one you want to teach about the inadvisability of taking something that isn't yours.

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  • Posted February 22, 2013

    Hats Off!

    I must admit, winners of the Caldecott Medal naturally grab my attention, which in this case caused me to buy the book sight unseen. Was I disappointed? Not in the least. The story is quite simple, the illustrations use mostly earth tones, yet both come together to create an engaging and enlightening story. I teach fourth grade, but I took it to school and shared it with a class of 20 kindergarten children. We discussed the actions of the small fish, the subsequent actions of the big fish, and which fish should have the hat. After the book, each student received a sheet with a drawing of both fish along with a separate drawing of one hat. Each child then decided which fish deserved the hat. Each child made an independent decision and glued the hat to one fish. They were then free to color the fish using their own styles. Incidentally, the big fish was an overwhelming favorite to wear the hat.

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  • Posted January 29, 2013

    What a great book!

    What a great book!

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  • Posted January 29, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    This is one of the funniest picture books I have ever read. Supe

    This is one of the funniest picture books I have ever read. Super cleaver illustrtions. Jon Klassen has a wonderful career ahead of him for sure :)

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    Posted March 6, 2013

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