Moral issues in: "We Found a Hat"

By Laura Raphael, Children's Services Coordinator

Parents have long wrestled with how to teach children the moral value of sharing...while keeping things fair (also a moral value). "Remember, you had the blue cup the last time we were at Grandma's; it's your brother's turn today!" "No, I made sure that all of the cake slices are the same size!"

In Jon Klassen's final "hat" book, "We Found a Hat" (following "I Want My Hat Back" in 2011 and "This Is Not My Hat" in 2012), two turtles find themselves in a classic sibling sharing/fairness situation: they both covet a beautiful white cowboy hat. But they can't both wear the hat, and they don't have a parent to act as moderator?

What to do?

Their negotiations are not what you expect. The surprising and somewhat surreal ending follows many meandering, dreamlike pages, which match the meandering and slow movement of turtles themselves. It should also open up an interesting dialogue with your child about the turtles' predicament and solutions.

As always, Klassen's minimalist drawings manage to show a range of subtle emotions that will generate maximum response in many readers - particularly in subsequent re-readings.

A sweeter ending to a sharp-edged trilogy than you might expect, but supremely satisfying.


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