Review Blog

Nov 14 2016

We found a hat by Jon Klassen

cover image

Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406347517
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Sharing. Problem solving. Humour. Two turtles find a hat. They try on the hat in turns and find that it looks good on both of them. But there are two of them and only one hat. They decide that the best thing to do is to leave the hat, because it would not be right if one has a hat and the other does not. But their eyes tell a different story. As they watch the sunset together they find their thoughts and eyes are drawn back to the hat on the ground behind them. Later going to sleep, their eyes remain open, watching the hat. When one falls asleep the other creeps towards the hat, asking the other what he is thinking. He tells his friend that he is dreaming of them both wearing the hat. Each has a hat in his dream and the other turtle, satisfied that this solves the problem, falls asleep beside his friend.
Readers will know that this solution satisfies both turtles, that the hat which loomed as a problem between them has been reduced in its significance and they are content. Their eyes are closed and they sleep.
Divided into three chapters, Finding the Hat, Watching the Sunset and Going to Sleep, children will love reading each section as the story unfolds, offering possible solutions to the problem. The wonderful sepia illustrations with pages of single colour against which the turtles and hat, are initially shown as small figures within the panorama of the desert. But as the problem looms, the figures become larger, almost filling the pages.
But the eyes tell the story of trust, of friendship, of longing, of teetering on the path of deception, of coming together as friends again - themes which could be discussed with a group of children either in a class, group or at home.
The third in a series of books about a hat, I want my hat back (2011) and This is not my hat (2012) this book will be equally well received, its charming style, infectious humour and instantly recognisable themes making it a book kids and adults will pick up to read and share.
Fran Knight

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