Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

This Is Not My Hat

This Is Not My Hat

Jon Klassen
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Candlewick, 2012   ISBN: 978-0763655990

One day a very small fish steals a hat from a very large sleeping fish. The small fish thinks that the large fish “probably won’t wake up for a long time,” and even when he does wake up the fish won’t notice that the hat is gone. After all, the hat is very small and the big fish probably barely felt it.

Just in case, the little fish decides to hide in a place where the plants are “tall and close together.” A crab sees where the little fish is going but it promises not to tell anyone where the little fish is hiding. The little fish justifies the theft of the hat, which he knows was a bad thing to do, because the hat was too small for the big fish.

The little fish makes it to his hiding place and swims in amongst the plants. He is so sure that “Nobody will ever find me,” but it turns out that many of the assumptions that he made were completely wrong.

This beautifully crafted book, with its simple tale and cocky main character, will delight young readers. Children will be able to see how wrong the little fish is as he talks about what he has done and how to plans to get away with the theft of the hat. They will see that the little fish’s confidence and optimism is, alas, misplaced.