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“If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity, then it will be,” legendary graphic designer Milton Glaser observed in his conversation with Debbie Millman. One might say that it is difficult, perhaps even delusional, to elect perception over the hard facts of physical reality — after all, if there is only one apple in front of you, how could you perceive your way to having two? And yet the great physicist David Bohm, a scientist grounded in the fundamental building blocks of physical reality, articulated a parallel truth in contemplating how our perceptions shape our reality: "Reality is what we take to be true. What we take to be true is what we believe."
Beloved children’s book author and illustrator Jon Klassen explores this disorienting paradox with great subtlety, simplicity, and sensitivity in We Found a Hat (public library) — the conclusion of his celebrated hat trilogy, following I Want My Hat Back (2011) and This Is Not My Hat.
The story follows two turtles who discover a hat together — a very winsome hat, they both feel — and are suddenly faced by a practical predicament: There is one hat to be had, and two of them who want to have it.
Carrying Klassen’s minimalist, maximally expressive illustrations — entire worlds of emotion and intent are intimated by the turn of the turtles’ black-and-white eyes — are his equally spartan words, which envelop his protagonists’ interior worlds in sweetness and gentleness as he tells this touching story of covetousness transformed into generosity and justice.
When two turtles are out on a walk they find hat, debate and close with...
"It looks good on both of us. But it would not be right if one of us had a hat and the other did not."
As the sun begins to set and the predicament remains unresolved, the turtles decide to leave the hat where it is and forget they found it. But as they retire to sleep, the hat occupies their restless imagination. Like Dostoyevsky, who discovered the meaning of life in a dream, the turtles arrive at their solution via the nocturnal imagination.
This book is amazing. The story is very very simple but the detail is in the pictures. If you read the text without showing and discussing the pictures it would make for a very boring story but the pictures are hilarious. They accompany the text to tell the story and they are a brilliant talking point when reading with your child. This book will develop your child's inference skills through discussing what is implied in the pictures.
I fell in love with this book as soon as I read it. The story is simple enough for children to understand but still fun enough for adults, plus the illustrations are minimal but still gorgeous. I bought it for my four year old niece who doesn't like to to share with her younger brother as I hoped it might help to nudge her in the right direction. It is obviously meant for kids but the illustrations/colours are so modern and almost Scandinavian looking that it wouldn't look out of place on a hipster's coffee table. I have also read 'I Want My Hat Back' by Klassen which is also very good and much funnier, but 'We Found A Hat' is probably still my favourite of the two if I had to pick.
Purchased for my neighbour who looks after our tortoise for us, she has a young daughter. Thought this would be an apt gift. Beautifully illustrated, lovely quality paper and a simple and heartwarming story! What's not to love?
This book is absolutely brilliant, as are all Jon Klassen’s stories. I’m a teacher and it really helps children to link pictures to words in a far deeper way that very few picture books do, and gives them a first ‘insight’ into sarcasm in writing. Also, is a great story with a lovely, sweet ending and great illustrations!
We adore this book. At first glance, I thought it seemed overly simple and basic but it entertains my children more than any other multicolored, over complicated and nonsensical book ever has. We've read this so much, my eldest remembers it off by heart. A must have for any kids collection.