Picture Book - This Is Not My Hat - Jon Klassen (Author & Illustrator)
Recommended for - Babies/Toddlers/Younger Readers
Oh Mr Klassen, you do know how to write bleak humour.
And I love you all the more for it.
Jon Klassen's first book, I Want My Hat Back, is my all-time favourite children's picture book, mainly because of the surprisingly dark humour that he manages to use that had me in stitches, despite it being a book written for people at least 20 years younger than myself. This sequel contains the same type of humour, and whilst it's not quite in the same league, it's still very, very funny, and well worth checking out.
A small fish decides to steal a hat from a much bigger fish, and then escape to where the underwater plants and big and tall, so that he can't be found. However, as you'd expect having read the first book, things don't exactly go to plan...
While children will love the fun of watching the big fish slowly catching up to the small fish, grown ups will again love the wordless manner of how we learn the small fish's fate, and how Klassen manages to put such a dark twist into a story for children. His unique drawing style is as lovely as ever, and the expressions that the characters wear adds to the humour. Who doesn't love a grumpy looking fish, after all?
If you haven't already read I Want My Hat Back, go and get that first. Once that's been read, make sure you pick up a copy of This Is Not My Hat. It's an absolute delight.
I can't help but feel positive that Jon Klassen is going to be a becomes very well known over the next few years. I certainly can't think of a more worthy winner of the Kate Greenaway Award, to be announced soon.