Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy New Year, I want my hat back.

I hope everyone enjoyed their time off for the holidays. It already seems like it was ages ago, now that we are back in the swing of things. I had lots of people coming and going at my house so I was pretty busy cooking food and cleaning up messes and having fun with the people. But now I'm back to work and have books on my mind and knitting needles in my hands.

    This is the book that has been on my mind. It is my new favorite and I have enjoyed reading it to all the classes so much. It's called I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. It's about a bear who has lost his hat and no one has seen it ... or have they?
I love the deadpan expressions of the animals in the book. I love how the color of the words match the animals who are speaking. I love the dark humor and the mystery of what may have happened to the rabbit. I use a croaky voice for the frog and a slow, deep voice for the turtle and the kids crack up! I love my job! I'm so obsessed with this book that I decided that I needed to make a hat like Bear's for myself. So, I did. Here's a picture:

    I made this hat by first knitting a very large pointy hat out of 100% wool yarn. After it was all knitted, I put it in the washing machine with a pair of jeans and some very hot water for about 30 minutes. Then I switched the machine to rinse and spin and when the cycle was done, my hat was finished! This process is called felting. People make hats and slippers and coats out of felted wool. Here is a picture of the hat before I put it in the washer:

    As you can see, the hat was much larger before it shrank in the wash. Here it measures out to about 14 inches in height. After felting, it measures about 11 inches tall. I created the pattern for this hat myself, so there was a bit of trial and error before I got it right. Here is a picture of the first one I made, which is not quite right:

If you'd like to try making this yourself, I created a pattern which you can download here.  If you have trouble downloading the pattern, leave me a comment or DM me on Ravelry and I'll email you the PDF.
And here's a book trailer for the book:


Darshana said...

lovely hat. so kids really get it. when i heard Valerie read the book at Hicklebee's. I enjoyed it but wasn't so sure you kids would appreciate the dry humor. what age group do you recommend the book for?

Mrs. Richards said...

From my experience, the kinders (these are mid-year kinders, not brand new kinders) need just a little help getting through the story. I stop and ask them questions about how they think the bear is feeling and if the rabbit is being truthful. Also, I leave the rabbit's fate ambiguous, we don't know for sure what happened to him and we also talk about the moral of the story. Don't steal hats from bears or you might get eaten. First and second graders get completely, though one girl was pretty horrified by what might have happened to the rabbit. 3rd and 4th graders are a little bored at the beginning of the story but absolutely love it when it turns a little dark. Giving each animal a different voice also keeps them - all ages - entertained. It really is a fun read aloud.

Darshana said...

thanks for replying. i will need to read the book again. i didn't even realize that the bear ate the rabbit, i just assumed he want back to they rabbit and took the hat. i was horrified when i heard about the rabbit possibly being eaten. i must admit i don't remember that page spread.

Cyndie Todd said...

You're, like, a genius or something.

Mrs. Richards said...

Well, it does run in the family.