Don’t Steal Stuff Kids. This is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen, a cautionary tale

This week in the library, one of the Grade 3 teachers came to see me for some picture books that could tie in with a responsibility theme. I did my usual speedwalk-around-the-library-grabbing-stuff routine, and one of the books I picked up was Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back. Once I had a good stack, we sat down and went through them together. When we got to Jon Klassen’s book, I just read it to her, because it is short, and because it is awesome. She laughed (proving she is awesome). When I’d finished, she said, “I like it, but I’m not sure it’s the best for responsibility.” I said, “Sure it is. The Rabbit steals the Bear’s hat and he tries to get away with it. He doesn’t take responsibility and so…” “He gets eaten?” she said. “Exactly,” I said, “So kids, don’t steal stuff, cuz when you do, you get eaten, ‘kay?”

She took the book.

Jon Klassen’s new book, a follow-up of sorts to I Want My Hat Back, is This is Not My Hat, which has pretty much the same moral as the first book: Stealing is bad. You will get eaten if you do it. Be warned. I cannot wait to read it to the small people. They will approve. I am sure of it. I’ll bet I can even get another teacher to take it, maybe someone looking for an honesty book, or a book for a Never Trust a Crab theme?

Here’s the perfect trailer:

Every complimentary thing everybody said about I Want My Hat Back is also true for This is Not My Hat: understated, genius design, super pacing, darkly funny, a hoot.

I’m thinking we will keep buying books about hat-stealing animals for as long as Mr. Klassen wishes to create them.

This is Not My Hat is published by Candlewick.

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