I Want My Hat Back

DVD. 6 min. Weston Woods. 2013. ISBN 978-0-545-57151-7. $59.95; CD, ISBN 978-0-545-57152-4: $12.95; CD with hardcover book, ISBN 978-0-545-57153-1: $29.95.
PreS—Gr 3—Jon Klassen's tale (Candlewick, 2011) opens with a full-screen shot of a large, dejected looking brown bear who lets viewers know that his hat is gone and he wants it back. He approaches all the woodland animals he meets and asks if they know anything about his sad situation. The fox, the frog, the rabbit, the turtle, the snake, and the armadillo can't help him. The bear gives up all hope of seeing his hat again until a deer approaches and asks a question that triggers the bear's memory. He races back through the forest, remembering that he saw his hat somewhere earlier in the day. Viewers will most likely realize where the bear's hat is before he does, and they will be itching to see how long it takes him to figure it out. Narrator Daniel Pinkwater expertly expresses the bear's emotions, and the production's spot-on pacing and twangy background music turn this seemingly simple story into a memorable one about honesty. Caldecott winner Jon Klassen's ink drawings are silhouetted against a clean, uncluttered backdrop, allowing viewers to really focus on the bear's feelings. In an interview, Klassen discusses his background in animation, his creative process, and his thoughts about reading critically. The tone, narration, music, and light-handed animation all come together to create a well-done adaptation of the original tale.—Anne Bozievich, Friendship Elementary School, Glen Rock, PA

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