I Want My Hat Back

I love children’s literature.  I spent hours immersed in the Evanston Public Library as a child, tucked among the stacks on the children’s floor (a whole floor!) reading wildly below or above my age level – anything that looked remotely interesting.  My mother ran the Scholastic Book sales at my elementary school and as such I sometimes wandered into my house to see boxes and boxes of Little House or Alice in Wonderland.

My mother recently reminded me that we had an 8pm bedtime until I was almost in high school.  Whether this is true or not (and I suspect it is), my childhood recollections of bedtime revolve mostly around laying in my peach canopy bed reading in the fading summer light from my window.  Also, I remember thinking that it’s horribly unjust that children have to go to bed before it’s dark in the summer.  As a parent, I completely get it.

Tangent!  This is about books!  One of the best things about being a librarian at a huge university in a town with a robust public library system is that there’s a goldmine of children’s literature at my fingertips.  And although we read tons of library books, it doesn’t stop me from picking up the occasional fantastic book at the bookstore.  I can’t help it.  The slim volumes, the perfect art, the clever words.  Seriously, it’s like I’m bewitched.  I pick something wonderful up and I know it’s wonderful because one minute I am reading by twilight in a grey and peach room and the next I am walking giddily to the car bag in hand.

I will admit to you that this happened even before I had a child.

Right now, we have a pretty standard go-to-sleep reading rotation.  Olivia.  Goodnight Moon.  One of the 17 billion books we have that have a mahn-yee (bunny) in it.  But now we have hat (I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen).  It’s a repetitive tale of a bear searching for his red hat among the neighborhood animals.  It’s stolen, turns out, by the resident mahn-yee.  Instead of the predictible hat shenanigans, the bear simply eats the rabbit and gets his damn hat back.

Best book ever.

It doesn’t actually show any gobbling but the bear does say, in the noticeable absence of the rabbit, “I would not eat a rabbit.”  That rabbit was SO lunch.  As much as I loved a good kid’s book before, I now love it a thousand times more.

As if that were even possible.

One Response

  1. I have the same problem with buying kids’ books. And had it well before we had an actual kiddo to read them to.
    I’ll definitely have to look for that book–sounds fabulous. My current favorite is “Sick Day for Amos McGee” I love the old guy and his socks.

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