The first time I ever read Jon Klassen’s THIS IS NOT MY HAT, I knew I that to read it for storytime. The story made me laugh, the simple illustrations were delightful, and the theme was perfect. If the kids didn’t like this, they were going to be a tough audience.
And then I read it to my group. I chuckled to myself as they talked about the silly hat on the fish. They giggled about the bigger fish chasing the little one, and thought it was pretty funny that the little fish thought he was soooooo clever. I couldn’t wait for the big reveal at the end. (Don’t worry…..no spoilers here!). When I turned the page, expecting everyone to laugh………the kids weren’t really sure what happened, although the parents were! We had lots of discussion as to possible reasons for the ending….none of which even touched on the REAL idea. I was shocked! But it was okay. The kids used their imaginations, and came up with something that was acceptable to them. It was great! They surprised ME.
Now, THIS IS NOT MY HAT is one of the books on our Forest of Reading® Blue Spruce™ list, and the kids aren’t saying much. I wonder if they’ll choose this book as their favourite. I know I would. We’ll have to have a discussion about it on the voting night. It’ll be interesting to hear from older kids. Maybe 5 year olds just aren’t as sophisticated yet.
The really great thing is that Jon Klassen and his witty humour are really taking center stage. It seems that this book, along with I WANT MY HAT BACK, have together sold one million copies worldwide. That includes translations. Isn’t it amazing? Picture books don’t usually achieve such great heights, so I’m thrilled for this author. He deserves it.