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This Is Not My Hat Hardcover – October 9, 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 398 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Hat Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Year 2012: Jon Klassen first surprised readers with his runaway best seller, I Want My Hat Back, and his follow-up, This Is Not My Hat is an inside out version that is even more fun. Not only did Klassen go with a dark color scheme where the last was light, the action takes place underwater with much of the story told through the expressive illustrations of sea creatures. From the little fish who steals a bowler hat to the crab who sells him out with eyeballs pointing the way, there are lots of laughs along with lessons. This time Klassen created an ambiguous ending that invites lively conversation about the possible outcomes and ultimately leaves it up to the child to decide the little fish's fate with every reading. --Seira Wilson

From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1-With this new creation, Klassen repeats the theme from I Want My Hat Back (Candlewick, 2011), but with a twist. The narrator here is the thief-a small, self-confident fish who has pilfered a little blue bowler from a big sleeping fish. He wastes no time or words in confessing his crime as he swims across the page announcing, "This hat is not mine. I just stole it." He continues his narrative with no regrets, but with a bit of rationalizing ("It was too small for him anyway.") as he swims to his hiding place, unaware that the big fish is in quiet pursuit. Readers, of course, are in on this little secret. When the two disappear into a spread filled with seaweed, the narration goes silent, and youngsters can easily surmise what happens as the big fish reemerges with the tiny blue bowler atop his head. Simplicity is key in both text and illustrations. The black underwater provides the perfect background for the mostly gray-toned fish and seaweed while the monochromatic palette strips the artwork down to essential, yet exquisite design. Movement is indicated with a trail of small white bubbles. This not-to-be-missed title will delight children again and again.-Carolyn Janssen, Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Cincinnati, OHα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 340L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1St Edition edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763655996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763655990
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (398 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Darilee Bednar on October 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
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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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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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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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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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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