Books for Younguns, Young Adults and the Young-at-Heart

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I Want My Hat Back

The bear's hat is missing.  He asks everyone, but no one has seen it.  Or have they?

I Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is one of The New York Times Book Review's Best Illustrated Children's Books for 2011 and has been on the Picture Books Indie Bestsellers List for several weeks.  It's also Left Bank Books' Best Picture Book for Boys for the holidays.

The immediate impact of this book is best described as striking.  The cover will catch your eye from across the room.  In fact, I first read it before it hit the bestseller list or received any awards because I saw it on the shelf and got an undeniable urge to pick it up.  Inside, the stark lines and muted colors of the illustrations perfectly match the minimalistic text.  There is only dialogue here, accompanied by pictures which eliminate the need for narrative.  Rather than dialogue tags, each character's words are color-coded.  Each animal's back-and-forth with the bear follows the same basic pattern, giving kids the repetition they love.  But a wicked sense of humor pervades the story which has no age limit.  The ending has gotten at least a chuckle from the adults I've talked to, and kids are sure to giggle, especially if it's read out loud by someone willing to ham it up.  This is a great book to share across the generations.  It's become a fast favorite at Left Bank with multiple booksellers recommending it.  One has even made it a Staff Pick!

I Want My Hat Back is published by Candlewick and retails for $15.99.  I got my copy by picking it up from the shelves for a few minutes.  You can get yours from Left Bank Books today!

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