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on October 16, 2012
Received as a review book at the PNBA Bookseller convention Tacoma WA.

Reviewer: Abbygail aged 6
and her Grammy, aged old

Abbygail says: My (first grade) science teacher read "I Want My Hat Back" and I liked it. I read "This Is Not My Hat" by myself with Grammy's help.

The words were easy or hard to read. I sounded-out the hard words and now they are easy.

I liked the story and I liked the big fish. The bubbles create movement.

The little fish was bad and the big fish was just a big fish. You don't steal from a big fish.

Grammy says: Jon was kind enough to speak at the bookseller convention and explain his thought process in creating this book. I was going to take notes but I was laughing too hard.

I found the colors muted - mostly in browns, greens, greys, and black. The drawings were simple. The language was limited and the story line very straight forward. The dialog is all little fish comments. The big fish actually shows all the emotions Jon Klassen proves himself an expert at editing both language and content. In other words, Jon is a genius.

My first grade Abbygail has taken to reading and easily read most of little fish comments. The words she had problems with like "probably" and "won't" were repeated over and over and she quickly recognized them. This is a quick read even for a noobie reader and at first she wanted to race through the story until she noticed the EYE... and then later the bubbles which she explained to me shows movement. "See grammy big fish isn't moving because bubbles go up... and now big fish is moving."

Be prepared to read this book over and over. There is a moral. The ending is open for discussion.
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on January 16, 2013
This Is Not My Hat is a companion piece to Jon Klassen's earlier I Want My Hat Back, only it takes place underwater instead of in a forest; and the story is told from the point of view of the thief and not the, er, victim. The end result, however, is pretty much the same. If you don't like I Want My Hat Back because of the conclusion, you will not like This Is Not My Hat, either. It helps to have a sense of humor. It helps even more if your humor has dark tendencies.

The artwork for This is Not My Hat is every bit as wickedly delightful as the earlier book's, with a bit more of a build-up in the tension and a seek-and-find on one of the two-page spreads.
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on January 11, 2013
A morality tale with humor and wonderful art. Teach your children that just because you can get away with something doesn't mean it's right. Well told and beautiful pages make this a keeper.
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on August 27, 2013
I look for books with award seals and thought I was getting something great with this book. Until I read it. While it is a nice book and the pictures are fair, it is very short and the story line is about a small fish who steals a hat that belongs to a bigger fish. The little fish assumes the big fish won't know it's him, and hides in tall grass. Much is inferred in the pictures, which younger children don't/can't get, as there are few words. The big fish immediately discovers it is the little fish who has taken his hat and finds him in the tall grass. There is a page showing just the tall grass, where both the big fish and the little fish are supposedly facing off, though it doesn't show anything but tall grass. Then the book ends with the big fish leaving the tall grass with the hat back on and we never see or hear from the little fish again. Did the little fish get beaten up? Was he eaten by the larger fish? Did the fish to come to an arrangement or work out their differences through positive conflict resolution? Did the little fish take any responsibility for his thievery and apologize? We'll never know. And while I got this book for preschoolers, it is a bit over their heads to understand the nuances of the story, as they are rather vague. When I am done reading I am unsure is this is a parable for not stealing, or if it is a lesson in how not to mess with someone bigger than you, or if there is supposed to be any lesson at all.
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on December 19, 2014
I bought several of Jon Klassen's books based on the gold CALDECOTT seal on the cover, thinking it would meet some high standard of quality. Frankly speaking, I just couldn't see it, even though most people on here seem to really enjoy this book. "This is not my hat" is a supposedly funny story about a thieving fish who steals a hat from a bigger fish who essentially hunts him down and kills him. Whatever message Klassen hopes to make is sacrificed to the comedy of the event, but its all just a bit too dark for me and my children (3 and 5 y.o.). Like all of Klassen's books I love the artwork. The muted colors are all so visually appealing. That's why his hat stories are such a let down to me. They look nicer than the characters act.

My daughter seems very confused as to why the small fish is so blatantly bad. Why does he steal, and make excuses for himself. On the other hand she can't support the bigger fish who obviously kills the smaller fish for no other reason than revenge (the small fish was obviously not a physical threat to him). Essentially no character is easy to relate to, despite their cute character design. For this reason the book was shelved after just a few readings. I can't recommend this story because even if your children can eventually relate to the characters, I personally feel they shouldn't because they are just a bit too bleak. Avoid.
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on October 31, 2013
This is a quirky and delightful book about a fish who stole a hat from a very big fish. He is very boastful and thinks he can get away from the big fish! Turns out, things might be so easy for such a prideful little fish.

I think this book has been a great vehicle for delivering lesson on pride and boasting for some kids and it also helps with prediction! It is very convenient to stop at the pages and ask the child what they think might happen next. It is also a treat to talk about the somewhat open ending. It is clear to an adult or older child that the fish was probably eaten in the end...or was he?! It sure got some laughs from my 6-7 yr old crowd.
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on May 22, 2014
The little fish steals the big fishes hat and tries to hide away with it. But justice will be served. The illustrations are absolutely wonderful and the writing is such that most of the story is inferred. However, I did not like the theme of stealing. Yes, he gets caught. Yes, he loses the hat but I never want my children to think, even for a moment, that stealing is okay as long as you don't get caught which is a large part of what I got from this book.
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on April 21, 2013
As a parent and a school teacher, I am always looking for those books that capture the interest of my kids as well as help develop reading skills. This is a winner! The illustrations are simple and funny. The story is engaging, humorous and teaches a valuable lesson. Kiddos can make predictions as they read and infer what is happening and what is about to happen while they enjoy a simple and enjoyable story. Nice work!
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on June 1, 2016
The fishy book, as my son calls it, is a joy for both adults and children alike. My wife and I found this in a bookstore before my son was even born, but we both loved it right away. I definitely have a preference for somewhat silly books, but this is both silly and teaches good lessons (stealing is wrong and that wronging someone has consequences).

The illustrations are quite unique, simple and beautiful. For a couple bucks, you can’t go wrong-- this is a great children's book that your children will likely love for years.
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on February 25, 2016
So cute! I bought this when I saw it grouped with the book "Have you seen my hat" because I already knew I liked that book and this one seemed interesting too. Its a different perspective along the same story line, has almost the same ending, but is in the ocean and its pretty hilarious. It isn't the SAME story though, don't get me wrong - however if you like one, you'll probably like the other. They are both worthy of being in your home library (or used in elementary schools).
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