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Thursday, 19 January 2017


Author and illustrator: Jon Klassen 
Publisher: Walker Books, 2011

If anything, this book is an education in effective use of capitalisation as a way 'to shout'. Jon Klassen's work is dead pan dry, I always find myself reading this with my eyebrows raised. It's the story of a bear looking for a missing hat, only he's oblivious to the fact he's seen the thief of the hat, wearing the hat and clearly lying. He then lies himself to conceal his own wrongdoing. 
The story and punch line work much better if each character is read with a funny accent, so the snake in our version has a lisp, the bear is bumbling, slow and has a low deep voice. Read the rabbit in a quick high pitched voice, and the story becomes much funnier. 
The book is very repetitive and simple, so seems at first aimed at very young children ( the under 3s). However, the twist in the story ( the rabbit gets eaten!), is black comedy and so is lost of 3.5 year old Eddie. At 5 and 7 however, her brothers find the story side splittiingly funny and request it is read twice in every sitting. Jon Klassen has managed to produce a very different type of children's book here, it's drole and yet simple, economic with words but generous in fun and humour. We really love this one. 

Here's a fantastic reading of this book I've found, read by George Del Barrio:
I Want My Hat Back from The Vanderbilt Republic on Vimeo.

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