I Want My Hat Back is a simple, easy to read story about a large bear’s search for his lost hat. It took us a few readings before we realised that the ending of the story is very much open to interpretation and one interpretation can be quite brutal!
The Story: A bear has lost his hat. He asks a succession of animals if they have seen it before the deer’s question makes him realise that he has already seen it! The bear is very polite and “Thank you anyway” has become my daughter’s new catchphrase. The story has quite an ambiguous ending that may not be obvious to younger readers!
My daughter and I find I Want My Hat Back very funny. The animals are drawn using muted colours with the exception of red for the hat and other defining moments in the story. It is told completely through dialogue and the simple repetition is good for a beginner reader. I’ve often used it in the classroom with non native English speakers – it’s very easy for a non native speaker to understand what is happening.
Age range: 4 +
Author / Illustrator – Jon Klassen