Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

We Found a Hat

Klassen, Jon (Author/Illustrator)
Candlewick Press 2016. 52 pages
First published: 2016
ISBN: 9780763656003 (hardcover)
Original language: English
Book type: Picture Book

Text Elements:

character

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

This simple but profound tale, told in three parts, is the story of two turtles who come across a white ten-gallon hat in the desert. They try it on and both find it fetching. But there is only one hat and there are two turtles, so in the second part of the book, they move on and watch the sunset. In Part Three, the two turtles attempt to sleep. One dreams that they both have hats and are drifting through the stars sporting them.

Told in spare and simple language, with strong use of repetition, the turtles’ dilemmas are carefully wrestled through. “We found a hat./We found it together./But there is only one hat./And there are two of us.” “We are watching the sunset./We are watching it together./What are you thinking about?/I am thinking about the sunset./What are you thinking about?/Nothing.”

The illustrations tell a different story from the words at times, with one turtle glancing furtively back at the hat, even as he claims to be thinking about nothing. The artwork, created digitally and with powdered graphite, complements the sparse language perfectly. The grey and brown-toned palette employs a great deal of space and simplicity in the imagery.

The third book in a trilogy, this final volume stands on its own as a story of friendship, fairness and sharing.

  •  

    Discuss a time when you and a friend wanted the same thing . Did it lead to conflict? Was there a peaceful solution?

  •  

    The author provides an open-ended conclusion. Discuss what you think happens at the end of the story. Further, what is it that the author wants us to learn from this story?

  •  

    Write your own ending for this story. Explain why you chose that particular ending.

  •  

    Examine the cover page. Predict what will happen. What can turtles do with a hat? Why would they want it?

  •  

    Perform the tale as a Reader’s Theatre. Add more dialogue: what are the turtles thinking but not saying?

  •  

    In the title, the pronoun “we” implies that it was you and at least one other person. Is solidarity and making decisions as “we” always the best option? Discuss in small groups or use as a debate topic.

  • Citizenship and Community Life
  • Ethics and Religious Culture