This is Not My Hat is one of those genius picture books that pleases kids and grownups equally. It’s funny and clever. It’s smartly and beautifully illustrated. It stars a little fish who steals a bigger fish’s hat. Hence the title, This is Not My Hat.
One thing that works so well about the book is how the narration by the little fish tells one story while the illustrations tell a very different story. That way the reader knows more than the little fish knows. And that’s always fun.
In the spirit of the book, I wandered my neighborhood on Saturday looking for people wearing hats. Not to steal, of course! Just to borrow. And take photos with. Because of This is Not My Hat. Everyone was very nice about it.
This is not my hat. It’s Bryan’s.
He got it the day before Halloween last year, online. Supreme is a skate brand and Bryan is a skater. You can tell by the hole in his shoes, which are Vans. I really like his skull t-shirt too.
This is not my hat. It’s Juniper’s.
It’s vintage. It has really cool netting on the front and a bow on the side. She got it a couple of years ago at Lost Boys and Lovers in Northern California. It suits her perfectly.
This is not my hat. It’s Stephen’s.
Stephen paints oil portraits. He got his hat at a thrift store something like seven years ago. He’s sure it didn’t cost more than three dollars because he rarely pays more than three dollars for anything. It’s nice and faded from wear and the sun.
This is not my hat. It’s Marcia’s.
This hat is from the famous San Diego Hat Company. It’s stiff but bendy, which makes it really fun to shape. It’s pretty classy. Marcia got it about a year and a half ago. When she’s ready for a new hat, she usually hands her current one down to her kid.
This is not my hat. It’s Mario’s.
Mario’s hat doesn’t fit me very well, but it fits him just right. He works at Casbah Cafe, which is a very special place. He’s worked there for 15 years and got his hat nearby. He assured me it wasn’t expensive.
This is Jon Klassen. That’s his hat.
He’s known for wearing an LA Dodgers hat. His dad came to visit him in Los Angeles soon after he first moved here, in 2005. They went to a Dodger game. His dad bought him a hat.
Here’s what he has to say about it:
“… I liked it right away. I’m not the most involved baseball fan, but I do love a good blue hat, and also it seemed like a nice way to mark the start of my living in the city. However, I wear a hat a lot, so that first hat probably only lasted about a year or so before it wasn’t really great looking anymore, so I bought another one just like it, and I’ve been doing that probably once or twice a year since. I like it because I don’t have a huge head, and a lot of baseball hats are too big for me, but this one isn’t, and I’ve always liked blue and also I like that it gets people from San Francisco upset with me.”