I first discovered I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen when I was book shopping with my niece for her 5th birthday present last summer. She was immersed in the Mo Willems section (rightfully so) while I browsed. By happenstance I picked up this book and then proceeded to read it two more times in succession. It is hilarious and lends itself to so many language-related discussions and activities. For older kids its a perfect book about inferencing and predicting, character development, and even into philosophical discussions of right and wrong. Social skills and indirect language can also be addressed with this book.
For the younger crowd, we can target inferencing/predicting again, as well as text features such as text size, matching the color of the writing to the color of the character, and using color to represent emotion. Sequencing and categorizing (of animals) are also great skills to focus on with this book. I also find it very interesting to see which kids notice right away that Rabbit has stolen Bear's hat and which ones need a bit more time to figure it out.
With all of the great forest animals in I Want My Hat Back, this story also lends itself perfectly to an early childhood yoga lesson . We revisited previous poses such as Bear Pose, Frog Pose, and Snake Pose, as well as added a few new ones such as Deer Pose (Chair) and Rabbit Pose. Afterwards we played a "Who Has My Hat Game" (see lesson plan) with modifications for the EC1 kids. The game was a perfect activity to work on asking/answering questions, reading body language, and listening to your intuition. The kids all had a blast and its definitely a game we will repeat with the next lesson using Jon Klassen's follow up book This Is Not My Hat.