You might remember from a while back that I had a new favorite children’s book. Changed my outlook on literature as I know it. If you haven’t read about it, go ahead and we’ll be here when you get back.
I also mentioned previously here that we started a Christmas tradition of giving Squatch (and any future kids we might have) a book on Christmas Eve. Here’s what we got him:
Awwwwwwww, yeeeeeeeeeeah! It’s a sequel, Motherbitches! Okay, so maybe not a sequel, but definitely a related book. It has to do with hats and stealing, like the first one, but none of the original characters show up. There are several similarities, however.
With This is Not My Hat, we’re once again introduced to the idea of the stolen hat, only this time we’re following the thief instead of the victim. The perpetrator in this book is a little fish wearing a dapper bowler hat, which—if we’re paying attention—we’ve already gleaned is not his hat.
This tiny hat, as he is so quick to point out, fits him perfectly. This is why he stole it in the first place. This hat originally belonged to a much bigger fish on whom the hat looks small and silly. I find this to be absolutely believable, as I have known several people (not to be sexist, but most have been girls) who may or may not* liberate clothes from people when it looked better on them and silly on the person it belonged to. As such, this fish thief is a completely realistic character.
*But definitely did
The fish thief, however, is also a very stupid character, as I would not think it wise to take things when the victim looks like this:
Not to ruin the ending, but the thief gets eaten. Again. Which is awesome. I like that Squatch will learn that there are dire consequences to taking stuff that doesn’t belong to you. But it makes me wonder a few things about Jon Klassen.
I love these books. They’re probably my favorite of the ones that Squatch owns. But they make me sort of wonder a little bit about Klassen. Did he have issues with his hat being stolen a lot growing up? Are these some sort of revenge fantasy being played out in children’s books? Or does he just really just not like thieves? Because damn, dude, I thought getting a hand cut off was a harsh punishment for stealing.
I’ve become a big fan of Klassen’s work through these books. As far as I can tell, these are the only two he’s written himself, but he’s illustrated several others that I now want to go get, too. And I need this to hang up in my office, for sure.
I still end all Squatch’s story books with “and then they were eaten by a bear,” because I feel that definitely provides a feeling of closure to the plot arc. I toyed around with the idea of switching to “and then they were eaten by a big fish,” but let’s be honest. We know how things would end up in the wild.