Parents, if you haven’t read any books written or illustrated by Jon Klassen, do yourself and your kids a favor and head to the library now.
Klassen is a Canadian writer and illustrator with a natural, nuanced art and humor. His book This Is Not My Hat, which he wrote and illustrated, made me laugh out loud with an almost awkward humor, as a big fish searches for the little fish thief who stole his hat. The last page (spoiler alert) suggests the little fish’s inability to evade the big fish, as the big fish is swimming back while wearing his hat again. His style is subtle, and therefore all the funnier.
I Want My Hat Back is the first of his two authored books, but the list of books he has illustrated is striking, featuring Lemony Snicket’s The Dark,among other clever and beautiful books.
If not for the pleasure of a children’s book that is stimulating even to adults, then I suggest checking out/buying some of his work to develop your child’s emotional education, as these stories are great discussion starters (“What happened that we didn’t see?” “Is the fish behaving well or poorly?”).
For those of you familiar with Klassen, what do you think? If you like him, what’s your favorite that he’s done?