Reading/Interest Level: Primary
Author: Jon Klassen
Illustrator: Jon Klassen
Publisher: Candlewick Press
The bear is missing his hat. He goes from animal to animal and very politely and patiently asks them if they have seen his hat. The rabbit is adamant that he knows nothing about any hat and angrily decries the accusation of having stolen it. The bear continues asking, running into an armadillo that doesn’t even know what a hat is, and a snake who has seen a blue, round hat—but no, the bear’s hat does not look like that. The bear finally lies down and decides that his hat must be gone forever. This is a very melancholy thought. That is until he thinks about it a little harder, and comes to a startling realization. He has seen his hat!
In this comical and dark picture book, the reader is treated to a seemingly simple tale about a bear kindly searching for his hat. Unlike other picture books in a similar vein, the ending startles the reader with a conclusion greatly contrasting the previous politeness on the bear’s part. This hilarious book shows with its striking contrast in plot, as well as in color palette, what we all sometimes feel beneath the surface of our polite veneer. With its excellent art, matching perfectly with the tones and plot of the story, children and adults alike will enjoy this deceivingly cute picture book.