Hurrah for end of the year "best of" lists! They often tip me off to some great reads, or games or films, etc. that I hadn't yet discovered on my own. But they also often affirm that I wasn't the only one who thought a particular book or movie was worthy of special mention. That's the case with I Want My Hat Back, a picture book by Jon Klassen. I was pleasantly surprised to see this title included on the New York Times list of Best Illustrated Children's Books of 2011.
The story features a large bear who has lost his hat. When he meets different woodland animals, he asks each one: Have you seen my hat? They each respond in the negative, but the pictures tell a different story, and bear is a bit slow to realize that one of the animals was not telling him the truth! The story itself is slight, but the short sentences, repetition, and mischievous humor will hold appeal for beginner readers looking for a funny story to read on their own -- as well as older readers who enjoy a slightly devious tale!
Recommended for ages 4 and up, I Want My Hat Back could also be a contender for the Geisel Award -- named in honor of Dr. Seuss and given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the last year. Watch for this and other youth media awards to be announced by the American Library Association on Monday, January 23.
In the meantime, you can watch the book trailer preview of