This is Not My Hat – Basic Information
Written by Jon Klassen
Illustrated by Jon
2013 winner of The
The style in this book was very difficult to
determine because it did not clearly fit into any
This book fits into the naïve style the best because
the proportions of the large fish are off.
The fish is very large but makes very small
bubbles, has a small tail, and small side fins.
The whole story is told using the expressions of the
fish (just their eyes).
According to The Classroom Bookshelf, Klassen
used Chinese ink and digital media to create the
look in This is Not My Hat.
Some of the illustrations are more transparent,
such as the plants, while the fish, rocks, and crab
are more opaque.
Even on the pages that show the dense, forest of
plants, some plants are solid and others are
Klassen uses the lines on the page to suggest
movement when the large fish takes off after the
person that stole his hat.
He also uses vertical lines when he draws the
plants to show the tranquility of the water.
The characters represented natural objects, so the
shapes were kept natural and are mostly rounded.
The shapes appear two-dimensional, flat to the
All of the shapes in the story are simple, childlike
representations of the objects.
This is Not My Hat is about theft and stealth, so it
makes sense that the book is illustrated in dark
Klassen uses natural colors, mostly tan, brown,
The background is black on every page, except
where the text is written.
The lighter colors of the fish, immediately grab the
The plants in the forest are various colors so that
they appear dense and give the impression of
Klassen also uses fairly dull colors in the
This fits with the action taking place under the
water where there would be less light.
All of the objects in the book appear two-
dimensional but Klassen is still able to give the
appearance of texture.
The large fish and the rock appear speckled, giving
them the illusion of texture.
The pattern on the small fish makes it look like it
The plants appear smooth in all of the pictures and
makes it appear that they are really submerged in
By using a black background for all the illustrations
and a white background for all the text, Klassen
created unity throughout the book.
Klassen also draws the reader’s eye to the fish by
making them bright.
The size of the bigger fish causes him to dominate
any scene and leaves no doubt as to who will end
up with the hat in the end.
Klassen does an excellent job of depicting action in
Little bubbles appear behind the fish to show that
they are moving and which direction they are
He also shows the plants bending at the bottom of
the page when the big fish takes off after the little
Klassen does a very good job of depicting the
The words are almost pointless.
You can understand exactly what is happening just
by looking at the pictures.
At the end of the story, the words become
unnecessary and the pictures tell you what
happens while still leaving room for the readers
Do they fight? Does the big fish eat the little one?
All that is known is that the big fish gets his hat