0 10/29/2012 reviews Books

Hold Onto Your Hat

No, this is not a post about the storm… It’s about Jon Klassen and his propensity for writing about hat thieves and animals who meet their naturally ordained survival-of-the-fittest end. Remember last year’s I Want My Hat Back? You could say this new one is a worthy successor in more ways than one.

this is not my hat.jpgThis Is Not My Hat
by Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press
ISBN: 978 0 7636 5599 0

This book, unlike its predecessor, is from the point of view of the thief, rather than the deprived party – and he is pretty shameless. He is also pretty sure he’s going to get away with it by hiding in some weeds. He’s wrong.

As with Klassen’s earlier book, the wrongdoer meets his untimely end, though it happens offscreen, so to speak, and the reader doesn’t see it, but infers it. His understated language doesn’t actually tell you what happens, either, so younger kids might not even get it – these are aimed a little older, at least kindergarten, and I think grades 1-3 are the perfect audience, who will be able to read between the lines themselves.

Klassen’s subdued palette also keeps this dry little story from being lurid, and sets it nicely in a dark, underwater world. I quite like his artwork here, which reminds me of a subtly coloured version of Lio Lionni’s artwork.

As long as you aren’t uncomfortable about the fact that fish eat fish, this is a really amusing story, and a great one for sharing, as there is a little moment of suspense at the end, before we see the result of the fish’s encounter. Delicious!

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