Teaches Manners and Common Sense
By Jon Klassen
Candlewick Press, $15.99, 32 pages
Jon Klassen’s children’s book I Want My Hat Back shows the simple journey of a bear looking for his hat. The book, done entirely in dialogue with illustrations to match each brief conversation, shows the bear talking to several different animals. Each time he meets someone, he asks about his hat, and thanks them for their time when they answer that they haven’t seen it. Bear comes across a rabbit wearing a hat, who seems nervous and responds with a much longer answer than anyone else. At the end of his journey, Bear realizes the rabbit was wearing his hat and accuses the rabbit of stealing. A twist at the end of the book adds some humor and reinforces the notion that it’s not a good idea to steal from a bear.
I Want My Hat Back is the winner the E.B. White Read Aloud Award and Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book. The straightforward illustrations match the simple dialogue and work well for children learning to read. At the same time it reminds children to use “please,” “thank you” and “excuse me.”
Reviewed by Sophie Sestero