Bookshelf

It is always kind of fun to wear a hat. There are lots of different kinds of hats in the world. Some hats are very recognizable from the region of the world that they come. There are classic hats. There are simple hats. There are festive hats, and hats that mostly stay on the shelf. Some people always wear a hat. Some people never wear one. Hats can be magic!

The Cat in the Hat is a famous story by Dr. Seuss. The character is recognizable world-wide. Sherlock Holmes had a pretty neat spy hat. If you wear one of those, you probably will be taken as a spy or be asked to solve a mystery, so be careful. There is a very fun children’s book called Caps for Sale. If you never read it with a child or just for fun, maybe give it a try. Do you have a hat or a person you know who wears a particular hat that has an interesting story? We bet you do.

Today we will focus on a writer who got himself to writing about things in life, with a bit of a comedic bent, and using the ‘hat’ as his vehicle. Jon Klassen has a trilogy of books written and illustrated by himself over a five year period. The books are geared towards the youth, but as always we find them fun for anyone. On the Bookshelf hopes for the childlike spirit to rise in all of us. We think the world would be more fun and a happier place. The book we choose for today’s article is We Found a Hat written in 2016.

Funny thing when we find something, and it is only one thing, like a hat, the potential for a little struggle and turmoil is possible. Whose hat will it be? Who gets to wear it right now? When will the other person get a chance to wear it? Why are we wearing and caring about someone else’s hat anyway? These and many more little situations may arise.

If you had to put yourself on the scale of one to ten regarding your sharing ability, where would you place yourself? One being not sharing and ten being completely comfortable with sharing, what would the world average be do you think? It seems in some cases the outlook is a bit bleak, and of course we hear tales of compassionate sharing that is quite remarkable. Our book today gives us some time to reflect on our ability to share, or really to not be too attached to material things.

Attachment is the root of all suffering, said the Buddha. We think we own this and that. We get very frightened and angry when these things we think we own or that define us are being threatened to be taken away. We tend to not look at the material things around us as blessings and gifts, but more as rights or unmerited privileges. Once we get hung up on these attachments, we suffer. This is true of ideologies, concepts and beliefs that we think are unshakeable, and are always truth. Truth is a funny little thing.

Klassen’s other books are This is Not My Hat and I Want My Hat Back, written in 2012 and 2011 respectively. It is interesting how the titles of both books have a possessive leaning written right into them. I wonder if Jon Klassen owns a lot of hats, and I wonder if he is terribly willing to share them. Okay, with these digressions aside, the books have wonderful little messages of care and kindness rolled into the stories.

Klassen received quite a few accolades for his books, and he found them on best seller lists along the way. They are certainly lovely books with good messages. The trilogy can be purchased together or separately depending on the reader’s desire. If you have an interest in some nice books with hats as the vehicle, or if you are looking for a new author to consider, give We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen a try, and know he has some others in the wings if you enjoy the style and message.

Enjoy and read on!

 

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