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This Is Not My Hat

This Is Not My Hat by Jon KlassenHere's one of the two picture books we're reading for our second class. What do you make of this one? For those of you who know your lit, this is a classically unreliable narrator. How do the text and art play off each other? If you can, try reading it aloud, ideally to a child. In my experience, kids who get the joke enjoy this book more than those who take it at face value. What do you make of that? (Mischief maker group, here's another gift for your wiki page!)

Lolly Robinson

Lolly Robinson is a freelance designer and consultant with degrees in studio art and children’s literature. She is the former creative director for The Horn Book, Inc., and has taught children’s literature at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She has served on the Caldecott and Boston Globe-Horn Book Award committees and blogged for Calling Caldecott and Lolly's Classroom on this site.


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Stacey-Ann M.

This was such a blast to read! As most people eluded to, the fact that the pictures and text did not really align together was such an interesting mix. The visual humor is amazing as, it places a child in the "big dark sea" with other sea animals. I too, agree that the choice of colors may be not as appealing to young readers, but I think the sizes of the main objects: big fish, small hat, and little fish are the main focus points in this story. I really loved this book. It makes we wonder about teaching consequences, and if a child would understand the moral of the story especially when it is intertwined with humor. :)

Posted : Mar 06, 2014 08:52

E. Ucan

I appreciate how Klassen built suspense in "This Is Not My Hat," by carefully timing of the sequence of images throughout the book. The simplicity of the images allowed the special features, such as the changing expressions of the eyes, to stand out and make the book both funny and striking. I also greatly enjoyed the subversive undertone in this book. I imagine that children could perceive enjoying/laughing at the story line as being naughty because of its tone. From a style perspective, I greatly enjoyed the choice of colors even through the subdued tones could potentially be considered less appealing to young readers. I find it refreshing to utilize "natural" colors, especially when coupled with a splash of bright color, like we see here in Klassen's hat. Overall, darkly hilarious, suspenseful, and pleasantly different.

Posted : Mar 06, 2014 07:25

Esther (Kyungeun) Lee

Favorite part of the book was the changing eyes of the big fish. The pictures stay the same for 3 pages except for the eyes, and this helps the readers be engaged and feel "in on it" with a secret that the little fish does not yet know. Clever and funny!

Posted : Mar 06, 2014 03:50

Alexandra Fish

This book would make a fantastic read-aloud. I love Klassen's pictures and the amount of expression he conveys in the eyes of each character. Not only does this book lend itself to discussions about reading pictures (What are the characters' emotions? How do you know? What happens on the page without words?), it also is entertaining and puts some of the responsibility for storytelling on the child. As others have commented already, I can imagine some students would be concerned about what really happened to the little fish. This story provides children with an opportunity to direct the story whichever way they choose - with dire consequences for the thief, or a happy ending for all the characters.

Posted : Mar 05, 2014 10:32

Dayna Lellis

I really enjoyed this book and can see myself using this as a read aloud in a primary classroom. I like how the pictures and the text are telling different stories. One of my classmates mentioned doing a picture walk first, which I like. In a classroom setting, students can make predictions about the text based off of the pictures, then compare those to the text, told from the voice of the little fish. This book could also be a great way to introduce the concept of perspectives/points of view to young children. For older students, they may even try creating their own narratives where the pictures and the text are telling different stories.

Posted : Mar 05, 2014 07:14

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