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I Want My Hat Back

(Hat Trilogy #1)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  27,358 ratings  ·  3,036 reviews
A picture-book delight by a rising talent tells a cumulative tale with a mischievous twist.

The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Candlewick Press
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Kelly Give each animal a slightly different voice.

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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,358 ratings  ·  3,036 reviews

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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
Excuse me, have you seen an adult enjoying this book?

No. Why are you asking me.
I haven't seen her.
I haven't seen any adults enjoying this book anywhere.
I would not enjoy this book.
Don't ask me any more questions.

OK. Thank you anyway.

Ps. Yes, I'm currently reading all the books I received for my students. What do you mean, it shows?

People, I swear. Sigh.
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.
Wendy Darling
Sep 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Destinee Sutton
Nov 07, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: funny, picture-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Nov 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy
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.

Jan 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Krista Regester
Jun 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love bear and his hat. <3
A very cute beginning story about a bear who wants his hat. He is not a bear to be crossed. He is asking all the forest animals about this hat and he realizes he has seen his hat somewhere. The story is simple and the art is simple and it all works nicely together.

The nephew loved the ending to this story. He laughed and said, he was eaten. He gave this 4 stars. The niece thought it was a cute story too. She gave this 3 stars.
destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]
Klassen's books fly off the shelves from what I've seen, and this series seems pretty popular, so I thought I'd finally give it a try (plus, it fit a prompt for required reading in my Children's Lit class this semester). I'm so glad I did. I actually laughed out loud at the ending and I really love Klassen's distinct illustration styles, too. Most of all, I dig how Klassen's an incredibly rare children's creator who can bridge the gap between making children laugh while entertaining their parent ...more
Jeanette (Again)
May 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
We just discovered Jon Klassen in 2016 when we read "We Found a Hat." It wasn't until today that we realized it's a trilogy and we read it out of order.

We love Jon Klassen's illustrations and stories. They're so unique and simple. Children love his books.

May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adorable, while also slyly funny.
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
Prabhjot Kaur
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
A bear has lost his hat and he asks various animals if they have seen his hat. When the respond that they haven't, the bear thanks them and moves along until he remembers that he has seen it somewhere on the way and goes back to get it.

This has unique illustrations but what I loved the most was the author's wicked and funny dialogue.

4 stars
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 illu ...more
Oct 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019
I love reading children books, this one was cute and funny.
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)
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
Oct 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Molly by: Alienor
Loved this one! I don't care it was written for little children.


I had such fun with this short story. After 9 hours at work my brain needed a kick-start to function properly and this little story did the job perfectly. For a few short minutes I must have been a sight in the library, with a book meant for a preschooler in my hands, and a grin plastered on my face. Honestly, I was almost saying aloud "Wasn't that your hat? Wasn't that a hat? What does your hat look like?
Dave Schaafsma
Nov 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picturebooks
Since I just discovered Klassen in the last couple years I am going back to read some of his work. He's a terrific artist and a unique thinker that respects the intelligence of children and is not afraid to make it edgy. This book, justifiably celebrated with lots of awards and nominations, has surprises in it you usually don't find in children's picture books. I guess though this is his highest rated book on Goodreads, I liked some of his others a bit better, like This is Not My Hat or Sam and ...more
Apr 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who's a fan of Black Comedy!!!

“My hat is gone. I want it back.”

I will admit that when I first looked at the cover of this book, I actually thought that this was going to be a pretty boring book due to how simplistic the artwork looked. Now, after reading “I Want My Hat Back” by Jon Klassen and seeing that this book was nominated for several literary awards such as the Irma Black Award Nominee and the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Award, I seriously believe that this is one of the best darkly humorous children’s books I had
Jul 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A cute children’s book that can be read in just a couple of minutes, about a bear who loses his hat. The last page is the clincher, and from what I’ve read, reactions range from funny to controversial. To me, I think it lends itself to early conversations with kids on topics like how they feel when something is taken from them, and appropriate ways to react when they are wronged. Like maybe, eating the perp might be satisfying in theory, but not necessarily the best way to handle the situation.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book, 2012
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
Ellen Gail
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I think I loved it more than my niece did. It's hella cute. ...more
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: how-picture-book
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
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Feb 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Nov 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The dark tale of a bear who has lost his hat. I'm not quite sure the hat suits him though, being small, red and pointy. But, it's his hat and he wants it back. The bear asks all the animals in the wood if they've seen it - each time getting a slightly different, but ultimately negative answer - until one animal asks him to describe the hat and he realises he actually saw it several pages before on the head of an animal that felt the need to answer very defensively. Rushing back through the fores ...more
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2018 Roe Reading ...: I want my hat back 2 2 Dec 11, 2019 08:10AM  
Review:) 1 5 Mar 15, 2015 02:10PM  
UEL Primary PGCE ...: Book review 4 I want my hat back 1 2 Jan 30, 2015 02:52AM  
...jk 10 79 Nov 17, 2014 01:37PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add the video 3 25 Jul 18, 2013 10:33PM  

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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

Other books in the series

Hat Trilogy (3 books)
  • This Is Not My Hat
  • We Found A Hat

Articles featuring this book

Summer vacation is officially here! Now's the perfect time to fill those long, school-free days with books your kids will...
54 likes · 41 comments
“What if I never see it again?
What if nobody ever finds it?
My poor hat.
I miss it so much.”
More quotes…