Jon Klassen can rightfully and indisputably be considered as close to a living rock star as the kidlit world has; his books have won award upon award, and his artistic style has proven to be incredibly influential. His numerous best-selling books include collaborations with Mac Barnett, Lemony Snickett and Kenneth Oppel, as well as the illustrations for Sarah Pennypacker’s astoundingly good novel, Pax.
With 2011’s I Want My Hat Back, Klassen launched what has come to be refereed to as The Hat Trilogy, which also includes 2012’s This is Not My Hat, and now We Found A Hat (2016). The first two books were hugely popular award winners (including a Caldecott Medal for This is Not My Hat), so expectations are understandably high for the third instalment.
Those expectations are surely met here, and even exceeded; We Found A Hat is far and away the most popular of the three books in our house.
Centered on two tortoises who find a white hat in the desert, the story, simple though it may be, includes moments of jealousy, deceit, true friendship and even a dream sequence, all rendered in Klassen’s trademark style and palette. The reptiles are adorable and never-changing, save for their eyes, which widen and squint to convey various emotions and thoughts, surprisingly effectively.
An object lesson in subtlety, one wonders if a less established author would have been granted the space and pages (at 56 this is much longer than most picture books, and 16 longer than the other two works in the trilogy) to allow so much, for lack of a better word, silence into the story; thankfully, Klassen was indulged, and the audience is awarded with a treat.
Another excellent picture book by one of the industry’s leading voices, and a must-have for fans of the first two titles in the trilogy.
Kinderlit received a copy of We Found A Hat in exchange for an honest review. Read about or Review Policy HERE.