I Want My Hat Back
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I Want My Hat Back

4.38 of 5 stars 4.38  ·  rating details  ·  10,985 ratings  ·  1,501 reviews
A bear almost gives up his search for his missing hat until he remembers something important.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Me...Jane by Patrick McDonnellI Want My Hat Back by Jon KlassenGrandpa Green by Lane SmithPerfect Square by Michael  HallBlackout by John Rocco
2012 Mock Caldecott
2nd out of 83 books — 177 voters
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingCharlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisWhere the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakCharlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
100 Children's Books to Read in a Lifetime
179th out of 1,201 books — 1,062 voters


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Community Reviews

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Wendy Darling
Oct 14, 2011 Wendy Darling rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sandra Boynton fans
What's a bear to do when he's misplaced his hat? He has to ask all the other animals he meets whether they've seen it, of course!

This charming picture book caught my eye immediately because of the humorous illustration on the cover, and I'm delighted to say that the contents are just as endearing. This story about a well-mannered bear on a quest to find his missing hat is told in simple language, and shares the same sort of gentle mischief that you might find in Sandra Boynton's books for toddle...more
Melissa
Jun 15, 2011 Melissa added it
Shelves: picturebooks
I think the best way to tell you about I Want My Hat Back is to describe my family’s reaction to it. I was sent a review copy by the publisher (the official pub date is Sept. 27), and I began reading it right out of the package, standing in the living room. A bear has lost his hat, and he wants it back. He asks a fox; the fox hasn’t seen it. He asks a frog; no luck there either. He asks a rabbit—a rabbit who happens to be wearing a pointy red hat.

“No. Why are you asking me,” replies the rabbit....more
Maciek
Dec 04, 2013 Maciek rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids and adults!
I bought this book at the Nottingham Contemporary, a gallery of modern art which was showing an expo entitled The Universal Addressability of Dumb Things. I thought that since I saw a giant inflatable cat and found it to be a splendid sight a book about a bear looking for his missing hat might appear to my tastes as well. Will he find his missing hat or not?

I am happy to report that I Want My Hat Back is a total hoot and I had a blast reading, especially because it had a delicious twist ending w...more
Destinee Sutton
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
A bare-bones account of a bear who needs a Bayer because he can't bear to go bareheaded, even though his favorite hat barely even covers the tippy-top of his big bear head.

Raise your hand if you think the protagonist looks more like a giant prairie dog. Or maybe even an otter. With bad posture.

If I were any kind of an artist, I'd do a spoof of this. I'd make it an anti-diet book and call it I Want My Fat Back:
"I lost my fat. I miss it. I want it back. Have you seen my fat? What will I do if I...more
Simeon
I love how the description for I Want My Hat Back is longer than the book. Nevertheless, this is one of the funniest children's picture books ever. I laughed too and my age is in like double digits technically.

babyhippoface
Every once in a while I come across a new picture book that I love so much that I carry it around with me and make random people read it. I Want My Hat Back is one of those books.

Oh my word, this book is hilarious. Seriously. And I believe it's all because of Jon Klassen's style. I knew Klassen's name before, not really for the books he's illustrated (Cats' Night Out, The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place and more) but for his one-page graphic story in the collection of funny, creepy, disgus...more
Flannery
I didn't love this book, I don't know what you are talking about. Why are you asking me if I loved this book?

Thanks for looking at this review anyway.

Note: This review is basically useless to people who've not read the book. READ IT then come back and realize that it might sound like I didn't like it but my five stars speak for themselves. I loved it. The reason I wrote it like that is because this extremely short but well-done picture book teaches kids about how people (and animals!) try to ev...more
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
This book was sent to Hugh from his aunt and uncle for his 1st birthday earlier this month (July 2012), and it is a real treat.

It tells the story of a bear who has lost his hat, a red pointy thing. He walks around asking all the animals he meets if they have seen his hat, and they all say no - including the rabbit that is wearing his hat! The bear finally realises he did see his hat and runs back to the rabbit to get it off him. Simple, right?

Actually, there's a lot of subtlety at work here, a...more
Betsy
I knew it! I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it, I knew it! When Caroline Stutson’s Cats’ Night Out was released by Simon & Schuster in 2010 it contained art by an animator going by the moniker of Jon Klassen. And frankly I just thought it contained some of the slickest art I’d seen in a picture book in a long while. I hardly even noticed that he was the same guy behind the pictures found in The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood. Still and all, until now he hadn’t...more
Lisa Vegan
Oh, this it too adorable, nope a bit worldly-wise, but cute too. So funny! What a hoot. The story is simple. A bear has lost his beloved hat and searches for it, asking those along his way if they have seen it. I loved the whole story, although I can imagine some little kids or sensitive kids might find it hilarious but some might be freaked out a bit by it too.

It’s a really fun read aloud book, and for families who have kids with a wicked sense of humor, this book can be enjoyed by all family m...more
Pricky
Klassen's artwork is beautiful and his humorous technique at telling the story of a bear's lost hat is unique.

The writing is simple yet catchy and the drawings are engaging; I particularly liked one scene that was painted red to depict anger...very creative stuff.

HOWEVER!!!!!! as a "children's book" this one is extremely disappointing.

In summary, (view spoiler)...more
Maureen Milton
I was already to dismiss this spare picture book as adult humor packaged for hip parents with ironic offspring. I read it myself. My 10- and 13-year-olds read it and laughed. I re-read it. Okay, this is pretty darn visually funny, but how will it go over with the Primaries?

A staring bear cannot find his hat and so politely surveys his woodland companions, even helping a turtle atop a rock he's been attempting to climb all day. When the bear despairs of ever seeing his hat, another creature asks...more
Eden
Um. Best. Book. Ever.

Okay, maybe not the best book ever. (I’m not ready to assign that title to any one book yet.) But holy eff, I’m seriously thinking about buying this one.

Similar to The Pigeon Finds A Hot Dog in that only dialogue occurs, I Want My Hat Back differs in the fact that conversations comprise the plot line—and that there is a distinct lack of emotion (or change at all, really) in the simple but beautiful Chinese brush drawings of the animals. Somehow, this serves to accentuate th...more
Kelly Maybedog
I knew just looking at the cover of the book that I would love it. It's so matter of fact and the bear has such a deadpan look on his face that I just knew it was going to be good. For the first couple of pages I was worried that maybe I was wrong but as soon as I saw the rabbit I was sold.

I'm not really sure this is much of a kids' book though. This kind of dry humor with a dark ending is very adult and the minimal wording and simplistic pictures are perfect. It's is totally my kind of humor a...more
Melissa
My 10yo and I picked up this book at our local bookstore, and by the 3rd page spontaneously broke out in a readers-theater performance because it was too good not to read aloud, and read aloud together. Fresh giggles at the rabbit page & the armadillo page especially!

Can't help but love the chutzpah of the ending.
Beth
I read this through screenshots on tumblr. That is a) probably piracy and b) the most modern way I've ever read a book. I feel like a true teenage hipster. Those people who are worried about Kindles ain't seeing nothing yet.

This book is hilarious, cute and (view spoiler) made me caw out loud.
Colby Sharp
Top 5 picture book for me this year.
stillme
As a children's librarian, I usually finish a picture book and try to figure who would best like to read it next. This one, however, I immediately returned to the first page and read again - twice. (Fortunately, my four year old on my lap felt the same way about it). The ending had me laughing out loud, even when I knew it was coming. Although the bear's expression hardly changes (and not at all for the first half), the writing is expressive enough that it seems like his face is moving. A great...more
Audrey (holes In My brain)
ADORABLE TO THE MAX.
It just made me happy, what else could I ask for?
Amy
Feb 29, 2012 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Amy by: Deirdre
Shelves: childrens, reviewed
I checked this book out based on a suggestion from my friend Deirdre. When I read the book to myself, I have to admit, I was a little underwhelmed. It had shades of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems, but I really didn't think the kids, especially my niece, would be too impressed with this book. Huh. Shows what I know.

The kids *loved* this book! The story is so simple, but my gosh, those children were about to bust a gut from laughing! They were giggling literally from the first page, a...more
Joanna Marple

Bear approaches Snake, and then goes on to ask all the woodland animals he meets, if they have seen his lost hat. I chuckled from page one, as I believe kids will too, at all the silly replies and excuses the animals give for not knowing where Bear’s hat is. An adorably illustrated, big bear is looking for his hat and he is intent on repeating his same question to all he meets, to see if they have seen it. “No,” says a frog. “I have not seen any hats around here.” “What is a hat?” replies a poss...more
Heidi
Bwah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ha!!!! Fab. U. Lous. Definitely not a preschool storytime read. I think school-age would find it hilarious, as would most adults. A good example of simplicity still being able to work in telling a story and in being absolutely funny. Seriously--I think I started to cry from laughing.

I'd love to read this aloud with another person for an audience. It would be brillian. The book is brilliant. I recommend to all of my friends. You may not find it brilliant, for which I'm...more
Leslie
Possible lessons learned in I Want My Hat Back? No matter how polite a bear you are, the smaller animals will be intimidated. Believing that someone is telling you the truth is not a bad trait, but then, neither is using your powers of observation. Lying to a bear is not a good idea. Bears really love their hats. Stealing is bad.

The repetition and progression of the story is charming. A bear wants his hat back, he asks around. It is all simple and straight-forward. The text is big, the dialog ex...more
Julia Jasztal
Mommy's review from 11/20/11 -


I'm not sure what the huge fascination with books with hardly any words is all about but I have a feeling I'll never be let in on that particular secret. Is it an aversion to words? Do people not like words that much anymore? I mean, there are art museums people can visit to see artwork with no words if they so chose. Why take the words out of books? I don't get it....
So, the bear lost his hat. He asks the other animals if they've seen it. They all say no. Once alo...more
Stan
This story makes no sense. What is the point: that rabbit stole bear's hat and lies about it; that bear confronts rabbit and gets his hat back; that bear eats rabbit and lies about it? We're supposed to love these characters? Bear's politeness to the other animals earlier in the story is overshadowed by his later actions. These themes are all offensive and inappropriate for young children, but we extol them because there is a thin thread of humor running through the tale? And yet the whole story...more
Sarah Sammis
Although I'd heard of I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, it took the numerous parodies that were popping up across the internet to get me to read it. The one that finally did it was The Doctor Wants His Fez Back.

I Want My Hat Back is, in itself a parody of the children's book which takes a character to meet all the friends in the quest for something. In this case, the Bear is looking for his hat. He interviews each character in the book until he finds his hat.

How he gets his hat back, though, is...more
Kim
A short, sharp, dark comedy book along the lines of Go the Fuck to Sleep and The Adventure of the Princess and Mr. Whiffle: The Thing Beneath the Bed. A book styled as a children's book but not quite for children.

Mr Bear has lost his hat. He goes on a journey both physically and emotionally to get it back. Beset with challenges and depression he strives to reclaim his lost love. Will he find it? Will he be happy once more? Only the truly enlightened will know.
Paul  Hankins
Bear has lost his hat. He asks his woodland friends if they have seen it. . .okay. . .I've said too much. I do have to put in a plug for my armadillo friend who pops up in the middle. I love that he reminds of Piglet. And I found myself asking, "Where do armadillos even live?"

Oh, and by the way. . .this reviewer at 6'3", 290 pounds says Viva La Bear!
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Jon Klassen received the 2010 Canadian Governor General’s Award for his illustrations in Caroline Stutson’s CAT'S NIGHT OUT. He also created illustrations for the popular series THE INCORRIGIBLE CHILDREN OF ASHTON PLACE and served as an illustrator on the animated feature film Coraline. I WANT MY HAT BACK is the first book he has both written and illustrated. Originally from Niagara Falls, Canada,...more
More about Jon Klassen...
This is Not My Hat This Is Not My Hat Das ist nicht mein Hut Extra Yarn The Dark

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“What if I never see it again?
What if nobody ever finds it?
My poor hat.
I miss it so much.”
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