We Found a Hat

9 min. Weston Woods. 2018. $59.95. ISBN 9781338243062.
OrangeReviewStarPreS-Gr 3—In this adaptation of Jon Klassen's subtle, chuckle-worthy concluding book in the "Hat Trilogy," a hat, once again, creates tension. Two desert tortoises, who are obviously longtime friends, find a ten-gallon hat. It looks good on both of them. However, there is only one hat and two of them, so it is best that neither gets the hat. This initially seems like a good solution. Still, it is a pretty nice hat, and clearly one of them feels an acquisitive tug. Will it be the hat or the friendship? Johnny Heller and Christopher Curry provide the voices for the two characters, speaking in slow, low-key tones that belie the increasing tension. The illustrations are gently animated while Western-themed background music sets the mood and the occasional sound effect adds to the desert ambience. The narrative is deceptively simple, but there are shifting undertones. The illustrations are minimalist but have hidden depths as the colors of the Southwest fill the screen. An interview with the author delves into the inspirations behind all three books.
VERDICT A worthy and recommended ending to a gloriously understated and delightfully quirky tale.

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