This Is Not My Hat, Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press, $24.95

FOR me, this picture book is pretty close to perfection; the story is funny, succinct, smart and completely in sync with the fresh, arresting illustrations by the Ontario-born (according to the blub, Klassen now lives in California) writer illustrator.

Last year he had a huge hit with with the equally entertaining I Want My Hat Back which found a home on the New York Times Bestseller list for weeks. I have to admit, I couldn’t help but wonder if he could top it.

He did – and he  makes it look easy.

This Is Not My Hat is about a tiny fish with a lot of confidence who steals a hat that belongs to a MUCH larger fish. Emboldened by his brief brush with crime, the small fish is utterly convinced (read, deluded) that the BIG fish has no idea who took his hat  – but in Klassen’s witty, subtle images, every swish of the tail and dart of the eye tells a very different story.

This Is Not My Hat is one of several picture books (Emily Gravett, in particular) that has an ending that’s open to interpretation. Whether it’s happy or sad really  depends on who is reading the book and how old the little reader is, but whatever the age, it’s likely to prompt a chat and this is a good thing, right?


Readers three and up.


I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen, Candlewick Press, $23,95

The House Held Up By Trees, Jon Kalssen, Candlewick Press, $27.95