I Want My Hat Back

Jon Klassen | Candlewick Press 2011

I Want My Hat Back is a breath of fresh air—understated and exquisite in its illustration, story, typography, and design. This is Jon Klassen’s first book that he has penned and a charming tale he has told. It is a deceptively formulaic search the bear takes on to find his hat. So used to the answer ‘no’, he misses the solution when it’s under his nose. Several tiny exchanges between shifty-eyed creatures lend additional warmth to the storyline. The illustrations are graphic with the subtlest rendering and coloration. Large silhouettes are contrasted with delicate foliage beneath softening each page and creating the environs. The illustrations are just masterful in all ways. Uncoated paper, big Century Schoolbook font, muted palette, command of scale and surprise—all remind me of a classic Leo Lionni book. The end sheets are sublime. Oh, the moral of the story—thievery is punishable!

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