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

Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: This Is Not My Hat

For the holidays, I'm reviewing a book or series a day from December 1st through 24th.

Today's book is This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen, the follow-up to last year's holiday pick, I Want My Hat Back.

A fish has stolen a hat.  He knows he probably shouldn't have, but it just looks so good on him.  And it's not like the giant fish he stole it from will ever find out who took it, right?

When I heard there was going to be a sequel to I Want My Hat Back, I assumed it would follow at least one of the characters from the original.  Instead this is a variation on the theme of stealing hats, and I think I prefer it this way.  This book contrasts the original in almost every way possible:  horizontal orientation rather than vertical, dark backgrounds instead of light, internal monologue narration instead of dialogue, and, not least, following the thief instead of the victim.  What it does preserve from the original is the rustic-looking watercolor illustrations, memorable characters (that crab!) and a wicked sense of humor.  The two books combined would be a perfect introductory lesson on different ways to tell a story.

This book is recommended for those who have outgrown warm and fuzzy picture books, beginning readers who still want nice art and anyone with a twisted sense of humor.

This Is Not My Hat is published by Candlewick and retails for $15.99 (hardcover).  I read an advance copy from the publisher.  You can get yours at Left Bank Books today!

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