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[Monday Reading] Of Mysteriously Missing (and Finding) Things in Picturebooks

"We Found A Hat" by Jon Klassen | "Finders Keepers" by Keiko Kasza.


It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Myra here.

It’s Monday, What are You Reading is a meme hosted by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers (new host of Monday reading: Kathryn T at Book Date). Since two of our friends, Linda from Teacher Dance and Tara from A Teaching Life have been joining this meme for quite awhile now, we thought of joining this warm and inviting community. 

I managed to find quite a number of picturebooks that feature animal characters who have lost certain things and managed to find them too in the end – quite mysteriously. Here are two of them.

We Found A Hat

Written and Illustrated by: Jon Klassen
Published by: Candlewick (2016)
ISBN: 0763656003 (ISBN13: 9780763656003)Literary Award: Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Picture Books (2016). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

This is said to be the much-awaited final book in The Hat Trilogy of Jon Klassen. Unlike the first two books, the only main characters in the story are two turtles who, as the title says, found a hat.

While finding an interesting object is a good thing (at least, most of the time) – the presence of the hat poses a conundrum – mainly because the hat looks good on both of them, and there’s only one hat.

While it has been decided that they would just leave the hat be, there is the longing evident in the backward glances as seen below:

There are also spaces here for the reader to provide their own interpretations. Full disclosure: I am not a huge Klassen fan. I know, I know: unpopular opinion. The language is very simple – only one or two lines at most per full page spread; the art shows the trademark of Klassen: stark, minimalist, monochromatic. I am sure there is something here for anyone to enjoy, plus the mystery of what happens to the ‘found’ hat in the end.

Finders Keepers

Written and Illustrated by: Keiko Kasza
Published by: G. P. Puntam’s Sons Books for Younger Readers (2015)
ISBN: 0399168982 (ISBN13: 9780399168987). Book borrowed from the Jurong West Public Library. Book photos taken by me.

Now this book, I enjoyed a fair bit. It is straightforward and quite a delight to read aloud. A squirrel found a big acorn, and he declared with triumph: “Finders, Keepers!” He then proceeded to dig a hole to bury the acorn, saving it for later, and marking the spot with his red hat.

However, the wind blew away the hat and went on quite a number of adventures, starting with the little bird who ‘found it’ and also delightfully declared “Finders, Keepers!” and transformed it into a nest.

Here, the young reader is shown that sometimes a hat is not just a hat. Other times it can be a boat or a button nose, depending on who finds it and keeps it:

Whether or not the squirrel will find his hat and his acorn at all, given the red hat’s many (mis)adventures, I shall leave a mystery for you to unravel.

#LitWorld2018GB Update: 44 (of target 40) Keiko Kasza is from Japan.

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Myra is a Teacher Educator and a registered clinical psychologist based in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. Prior to moving to the Middle East, she lived for eleven years in Singapore serving as a teacher educator. She has edited five books on rediscovering children’s literature in Asia (with a focus on the Philippines, Malaysia, India, China, Japan) as part of the proceedings for the Asian Festival of Children’s Content where she served as the Chair of the Programme Committee for the Asian Children’s Writers and Illustrators Conference from 2011 until 2019. While she is an academic by day, she is a closet poet and a book hunter at heart. When she is not reading or writing about books or planning her next reads, she is hoping desperately to smash that shuttlecock to smithereens because Badminton Is Life (still looking for badminton courts here at UAE - suggestions are most welcome).

3 comments on “[Monday Reading] Of Mysteriously Missing (and Finding) Things in Picturebooks

  1. I haven’t read Finders Keepers. It sounds cute.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I liked the Klassen book. I’m not a raging fan but that one struck my funny bone just right. My weekly update

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jana Eschner

    I though I Found a Hat had a nice message about sharing and friendship, but I still need to read Finders Keepers! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

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