A Hat of a Different Color! We Found A Hat by Jon Klassen
WE FOUND IT TOGETHER.
BUT THERE IS ONLY ONE HAT...
Two desert tortoises come upon a lost hat. Each tries it on.
The hat is a tall, impeccably white, ten-gallon, Hopalong Cassidy-type hat, tempting, but totally unsuitable for tortoises.
But the two think otherwise.
They each try it on, and the other generously pronounces that it looks good on his friend, despite the obvious fact that the hat covers their heads, necks, and shoulders (to the extent that tortoises have shoulders).
But it is clear that each covets the hat, and they rationally agree that the fair thing to do is to leave the hat where it lies.
They mosey off toward their sunning rock, but their ovoid eyes, with backward looks, betray that each wants that hat!
Night begins to fall, the two tortoises amble past a couple of saguaro cacti, and clamber up a knoll to their warm rock as the sun sets behind them.
WE ARE GOING TO SLEEP HERE... TOGETHER.
One tortoise's eyelids grow heavy at half-mast, but the other's eyes shift back toward the hat, his intentions clear. He wants that hat. He waits for the other to fall sleep.
ARE YOU ALMOST ASLEEP?
His partner mumbles that he is, and the first tortoise sits tight, his wide-awake eyes sliding back toward that hat.
ARE YOU ALL THE WAY ASLEEP?
His partner murmurs convincingly that he is and that he is in the middle of a dream.
The first tortoise begins to sneak toward the hat. This is his chance! Now, if his friend just stays asleep, the hat will soon be his. Then he hears his friend's voice.
I AM DREAMING THAT I HAVE A HAT.
The tempted tortoise stands over the hat with a sly look that seems to say, "In your dreams, buddy!"
Then the "sleeping" tortoise adds the final twist:
YOU ALSO HAVE A HAT.
That changes everything, in Jon Klassen's just published closer in his Hat Trilogy, We Found a Hat (Candlewick Press, 2016). How can the potential perp take the hat in the face of his friend's generosity? He can't, of course, and soon the two are dreaming together, both wearing a white hat. In this last tale in the trilogy, justice is again done, but this time in fairness and friendship rewon. Author Klassen sticks to his wry, straight-faced dialogue, each word well-weighed and telling. His illustrations are equally spare, but this time he uses a different, desert-toned palette, and his choice of a white hat instead of a black hat hints at his theme that the good guy is gonna win in this one--winning not in swiftly executed "justice," but in mutual affection. The final spread shows the two tortoises sound asleep and dreaming of a world in which both wear white hats under a starry desert sky.
The stars have also come out in fittingly starred reviews for this sly and yet sweet finale to Klassen's trilogy. "A different but wholly delightful and thought-provoking capper to Klassen’s ingenious series, says School Library Journal.