This is Not My Hat



This is Not My Hat

by Jon Klassen

Age: 3 +

Interests: fish, mystery, crime and punishment, ocean



Holes (2003)



released: 2003

rated: PG for violence, mild language and some thematic elements

length: 117 min.

age: 10+

scary factor: suspenseful scenes with rattlesnake, deadly lizards – nothing a 10 yr old couldn’t handle

violence: two boys fight; one boy whacks a provoking guard in the head with his shovel, knocking him out; in flashback a man is shot (in extreme wide shot – no closeups); Kate then shoots the sheriff in revenge; guards in work camp have guns, but only a lizard is actually shot

language: authentic but rather mild, for teenage boys: damn, hell, crap, Oh, my God… that kind of thing. (According to there is one “jackass” but I didn’t even notice it.)

other: flashbacks depict scenes of racial hatred (burning down the school) and vague threat of sexual violence (drunken sheriff tries to force Kate to kiss him)

interests: mystery, desert, prison work camps, bad luck, family history, curses, cowboys, crime and punishment, buried treasure

next: read the book if you haven’t! Holes by Louis Sachar


I Want My Hat Back


I Want My Hat Back

by Jon Klassen

Candlewick Press, 2011

33 pp.

Age: 3+

Interests: animals, mystery, crime and punishment, bears and rabbits

Also by this author: This is Not My Hat


The True Story of the Three Little Pigs

True Story of the 3 Little Pigs - cover

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

text by Jon Scieszka

illustrations by Lane Smith

New York: Viking Penguin, 1989

28 pp.

Age: 6+

Interests: twisted fairy tales, crime and punishment, wolves

Next: The Three Pigs by David Wiesner (another weird take on the story); The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon by Mini Grey (a modern rewrite of a nursery rhyme with lots of crime and violence)

Also by this author and illustrator: The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales; Squids Will Be Squids; Math Curse; Science Verse


Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat

by Chris Riddell

Macmillan, 2007

171 pp.

Age: 6+

Reading Level: 8+

Interests: mysteries, adventure, travel, strong heroines, fashion, clever plans and maps

Next: Ottoline At Sea, Ottoline Goes to School


Snow White in New York


Snow White in New York

Fiona French

Oxford University Press, 1986

32 pp.

Age: 7+

Interests: updated fairy tales, New York, 1920s flapper era, art styles, fashion

Next: Ella’s Big Chance (a Cinderella update also set in the 1920s)


The Highwayman


The Highwayman

Alfred Noyes, text

Charles Keeping, illustrations

Oxford, 1981

32 pp.

Age: 10 +

(Reading Level: 9 +)

Interests: poetry, romance, history, horror, ghost story

Also by this illustrator: Charley, Charlotte and the Golden Canary, The God Beneath the Sea, Beowulf, The Lady of Shalott, Through the Window, Charles Keeping’s Classic Tales of the Macabre


Smoky Night


Smoky Night

Eve Bunting, text

David Diaz, illustrations

Harcourt, 1994

32 pp.

Age: 6+

Interests: city life, crime, racial tension, violence, community, single parent family, cats

Also by this author: Fly Away Home, Coffin on a Case!, The Memory String, How Many Days to America?, Night Tree, S.O.S Titanic


The Music Man (1962)

The Music Man

Released: 1962

Rated: G
Length: 151 min.
Age: 6+  (for comprehension)                     Commonsense media sez: 6 +

Scary: nothing violent, only the talk of angry townsfolk about tarring and feathering Hill

Sexual Innuendo: in some dialogue and songs, but all G-rated and too oblique to be picked up by small children

Interests: musicals, song and dance, marching bands, history, small town life, con men


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

by Ian Fleming

150 pages, 12 chapters

London, Penguin, 1964

Age: 6 +

Interests: cars, magic, adventure, action, family, cops and robbers, science/inventions

Next: see the movie Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (story is much different)


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All writings posted here are © Kim Thompson, unless otherwise indicated. For all artwork on this site, copyright is retained by the artist.