We Found A Hat – Jon Klassen

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image from amazon.com
  • Age Range: 4 – 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool – 3
  • Lexile Measure: 140
  • Hardcover: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; unabridged edition (October 11, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763656003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763656003

EXCERPT from Publisher’s Weekly interview:

At 56 rather than 40 pages, We Found a Hat is the longest book in Klassen’s trilogy, which came about quite organically, he said: “I always set out to make the shortest book I can, since I don’t want anything superfluous in it.” But Klassen discovered that the relationship between the story’s two turtles didn’t allow for brevity. “This was a bit trickier, and I needed a couple of extra beats to establish what I wanted to establish,” he explained. “The turtles have something of a friendship from the onset, and that’s much more difficult to establish than two strangers who dislike each other, which is more the case in the earlier books. We Found a Hat depends on readers believing the characters have a relationship at stake, and I didn’t want to tell the audience the turtles are friends – I wanted to show them. Creating a believable relationship takes longer to do. And the slower pace and the idea of taking my time with story seemed well suited to turtles!”

Was this book, then, more challenging to create? “I try to make every book a challenge – otherwise it feels slack,” Klassen replied. “This book was challenging in that I Want My Hat Back was especially sarcastic, and This Is Not My Hat was less so, because of the irony in it, but We Found a Hat is the least sarcastic one. Sarcasm is a great tool, but I had done it, and I wanted to tell a straight story here, and that was hard. I want to do something harder with each book, and I feel in a way that the earlier two books taught me how to do this one.”

Rationale for Inclusion: Klassen’s three book hat series each as a single entity deserves to be in the 100 book bibliography, but for the sake of being current, I only include Klassen’s latest in the trilogy. He is one of the most sarcastic, creative, and interesting children’s authors and illustrators creating right now, and his books are hilarious, enigmatic, and touching, especially this latest edition to the trilogy. It focuses on two turtles who have found one hat, and how difficult it is to give up on the dream of having a dashing hat–but that if the both of them can’t each have one, neither of them will, which is vastly better than fighting over a hat. The art style is the best of minimalism and expressionism all at once, and the eyes of the characters say so much while being so simplistic. I am obsessed with these books, and so are all the children who attend story times at my library–for good reason!

Jon Klassen reads from We Found A Hat:

 

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