& a review: hats and thieves

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:

NotMyHat

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.

Suspect No. 1

Suspect No. 1

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:

This apparently is not the book where Squatch will learn that snitches get stitches and wind up in ditches like little bitches.

This apparently is not the book where Squatch will learn that snitches get stitches and wind up in ditches like little bitches.

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.

As a wise man once told me, "Bears be bears."

As a wise man once told me, “Bears be bears.”

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17 thoughts on “& a review: hats and thieves

  1. oh you lovely being!

    just saw the Angus clip (“who’s normal?”) that you posted on another blog that we just Happened to be reading (while avoiding writing, as one does) and it gave us a nice little tear-y-moment.

    thank you.

    *wavingfromlosangeles*

    Reply
    • Thank you. I especially appreciate the “lovely being” part. Though you wouldn’t say that about me if you actually saw me.

      Reply
  2. Real men review children’s books. This is stellar. And your fondness for teaching your child the dire consequences of bad behaviors makes me think of a book we have called “Don’t Tell Lies Lucy: A Cautionary Tale” about a little girl who always lies. She is so conditioned to lie that she also assumes everyone else lies as much as she does, so she fails to believe her family when they tell her a tsunami is heading for their house. Spoiler alert: she is washed away by a giant wave while the rest of her family has a pleasant picnic lunch atop a very high hill. I guess kids can take away the double lesson that lying is not only life-threatening, but it also causes your family not to mourn your demise. Two thumbs up. You could also properly end that with “…and then the family was eaten by a bear.”

    Reply
    • Yes, that’s exactly what I say too. Real men also drive minivans, but we can’t really afford one now, so we’ll stay with our station wagon-y thing.

      I’ll have to get that book because it sounds amazing. And potentially emotionally scarring. Those types of books are must-haves in the Sasquatch household. We’ve got one called “Ten Little Babies” (which is more or less a counting book) where the babies keep disappearing. I’ll have to review that one because it is GOLD.

      Reply
      • And there are always the classics for a good dose of life biting you in the butt. Aesop’s Fables and Hans Christian Andersen Fairy Tales are practically horror stories. I mean, the real Little Mermaid dies??? Take that Disney.

      • Oh, and we just got our first minivan. As a result, I starting buying Ramen noodles again, which I haven’t done since college.

      • Squatch has a book of fairytales waiting to scare the daylights out of him when he gets older. Good times.

        And Karli hasn’t stopped buying Ramen noodles since college. She loves those damn things. At least she cooks them, unlike a roommate I had once.

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