Best new books for young kids
Turn your preschooler through second grader onto this season's top new page turners.
By Susan Freinkel
I Want My Hat Back
By Jon Klassen
Ages: 4 and up
In I Want My Hat Back ($8.79), Bear has lost his beloved hat. He visits various animals, politely asking if they have seen it. Each says no and it looks like Bear will go hatless until a deer replies with a simple question that jogs his memory and he renews his search — now looking for the culprit who stole his hat. Spoiler alert: Bear ends up eating the offender. This sounds horrifying but actually isn't, partly because Bear exacts his revenge out of sight and partly because the dialogue and illustrations have such a droll, deadpan humor. The twist at the end, which is admittedly a little twisted, will leave all but the tenderest readers laughing.
Bottom line: The words and drawings leave so much unsaid that much of the fun in reading this with your child is teasing out what's going on.
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