A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Crescent Dragonwagon (Alligator Arrived with Apples, Home Place), Marc Brown (Arthur series), Mordicai Gerstein (The Man Who Walked Between the Towers), Shirley Climo (The Cobweb Christmas), and Jim LaMarche (The Raft).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of P. D. Eastman (1909â€“1986), (Are You My Mother; Go, Dog. Go! ) and Elsie J. Oxenham (1880â€“1960) (Goblin Island).
- In 1792 Farmerâ€™s Almanac, now known as Old Farmerâ€™s Almanac, was first published. Read Farmer George Plants a Nation by Peggy Thomas and illustrated by Layne Johnson.
- Alfred Nobel patents dynamite in 1867. Read The Man Behind The Peace Prize by Kathy-Jo Wargin and Zak Pullen.
Today we celebrate International Hat Day. Â I personally love, wear, buy, and covet hatsâ€”all kinds of hats.
Since the book of the day I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen was published last year, it has already gained an enormous number of fans. Klassen is a master of the minimalist form. Starting with sumptuous endpapers that depict the characters in the book, this sly picture book stars a bespeckled bear who immediately sets the tension of the story: â€śMy hat is gone. I want it back.â€ť Already I identify with this story! Then in a series of repetitive questions, making the book fun for very young readers, the bear asks some animals if they have seen his hat. Fox, frog, rabbit, turtle, and snake all answer in the negative. â€śMy poor hat. I miss it so much.â€ť
Finally, in a striking denouement on a page colored red to show the bearâ€™s anger, our protagonist realizes that he has seen his hat. By this point children, who pick up visual clues well, will be way ahead of the adult presenting the story for the first time. At the end, red hat on his head, our now happy hero begins to answer questions about the disappearance of the rabbit.
With a clean, crisp layout and design, appealing artwork the draws readers into the saga, and a clear story arc, I Want My Hat Back demonstrates that an author can take a short and simple text and craft it into an appealing picture book. Admittedly bunnies have been suffering terrible fates in childrenâ€™s books ever since Peter Rabbitâ€™s father ended up in Mr. McGregorâ€™s pie. But if you, like me, donâ€™t want to imagine a rabbit gone to his final resting place, I am reminded of a young boy responding to Mo Willems City Dog, Country Frog, a story about a frog who dies. After reading the book, a friend asked the boy, â€śDid the frog die?â€ť He answered, â€śNo, silly, heâ€™s just hibernating.â€ť I personally believe that this rabbit just went â€ślippety-lippetyâ€ť off the page. Thatâ€™s my storyâ€”and Iâ€™m sticking to it.
If during this holiday season you are hunting for a Â new picture book with surefire appeal, pick up a copy of I Want My Hat Back. Or for that matter any of the exciting new titles by Jon Klassen.
Hereâ€™s a page from I Want My Hat Back:
Originally posted November 25, 2011. Updated for .