Marvelous New Picture Books: We Found a Hat

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We Found a Hat

Author: Jon Klassen

Illustrated by: Jon Klassen

When I heard that Jon Klassen had finally written the conclusion to the “Hat,” trilogy, partner to I Want My Hat Back and This is Not My Hat, I jumped at the chance to review it. I was not disappointed. We Found a Hat stays true to Klassen’s trademark dry humor, minimalistic illustration and subtly profound attention to underscoring teachable lessons. I continue to be amazed by Klassen’s ability to convey themes as vast and complex as loss, problem-solving, morality and friendship through devices as simple as animals and headgear.

"We Found a Hat" Cover

We Found a Hat chronicles the journey of two turtles, companions and friends, who stumble upon a hat. They find the hat together, try it on, and confirm that it  suits both of them. However, there is only the one hat, and there are two of them. They conclude that it would not be right for one turtle to get the hat and the other turtle to go without it. So, they abandon the hat and attempt to forget they had ever found it.

This turns out to be easier said than done. They try to distract themselves, watching the sunset together and trying to fall asleep. While one turtle dreams, the other creeps away toward the hat. The turtle appears quite tempted by the now-available hat.

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But then, his friend shares his dream, a dream in which both turtles have hats, and both turtles look very good in them. Compelled by this dream, the turtle returns to his friend and they fall asleep together, both dreaming of a companionship where they wear hats together. 

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The illustrations in We Found a Hat are quite minimalist, in keeping with Klassen’s traditional style, but convey a great deal of emotion and meaning. I especially liked Klassen’s attention to the turtles’ eyes, which shift and peer in a wry and humorous way. In some cases, the turtles eyes give away their true emotions, glancing slyly at the hat or at one another.

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Klassen’s illustrations depict time in an interesting way, beginning with entirely light pages, continuing through a pink evening sunset, and ending with the turtles floating in a dark night sky, both donning identical white hats.

We Found a Hat imparts to readers one of the most basic rules of friendship: if the friendship is true, nothing can disrupt it, not even the most beloved of hats.

 

Post by: Natalie Gustin

 

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