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No Other Way

about Jon Klassen

Jon Klassen’s first solo picture book was I Want My Hat Back, a book that “makes child laugh and adult chuckle, and both smile in appreciation”, at least until the reader turns the last pages. It features a bear looking for his hat, who finally and off-page eats the rabbit who stole it. According to the Chicago Tribune, “the joy of this book lies in figuring out the explicit plot from the implicit details in the pictures”. Finally, there has been some discussion on the question whether one character that kills another is appropriate in a children’s book without repercussion.

The New York Times Book Review named the story one of the “10 Best Illustrated Children’s Books for 2011”. The book was published in September by Candlewick Press. Jon said of the ending, which has been called a “subversive risk”, that “there was no other way for it to end”. It achieved considerable commercial success, and even became an internet meme when people started “posting their own versions of the story”.

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Jon grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada. He attended Sheridan College, before moving to Los Angeles, California, where he lives today. Beyond I Want My Hat Back, he is the Caldecott Award-winning author and illustrator of This Is Not My Hat, as well as the illustrator of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole and Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, The Dark by Lemony Snicket, House Held Up by Trees by Ted Kooser, Cats’ Night Out by Caroline Stutson, and the first three books in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series.

Jon has also worked on a number of high profile film and animation projects, including the U2 music video I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight, Henry Selick’s Coraline, and a TV spot for BBC’s coverage of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. His recent work on the children’s book Cats’ Night Out won the Canada Council for the Arts Governor General’s Awards for English Language Children’s Illustration.

I Want My Hat Back Trailer
This Is Not My Hat Trailer

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