Author Focus: Jon Klassen

Author Focus: Jon Klassen

Rebecca from Thirteen Red Shoes is with us today to share some inspiring insights and book recommendations from the great author, Jon Klassen.


Along with Oliver Jeffers, who I highlighted in my previous post, I believe Jon Klassen to be a modern day classic author/illustrator.

Jon Klassen, who grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada and now resides in Los Angeles California, is an illustrator with a very distinct style and use of color, which I find so very appealing.  He has also recently become an author in his own right, publishing I Want My Hat Back and This Is Not My Hat, both stories about the unfortunate thievery of a hat!


Below is a little clip of Jon describing his movement from being an illustrator to an author illustrator.

Author and Illustrator Jon Klassen discusses picture books from Candlewick Press on Vimeo.


These books are perfect for open ended challenges and testing the notion of multimodal texts, whereby the illustrations and the text are both required in order to make meaning. Jon Klassen’s books require a lot of thought from a child’s perspective in order to gather the inferred meaning.


His two books in which he is the author illustrator have endings which might seem a little harsh, so be sure to read yourself prior to reading aloud to children. Reading aloud to children is an art form, so practice before hand and have a good understanding of the book before presenting it to your children or class.  This makes the experience much more rewarding for all involved and allows for a deeper discussion and the possibility to open up new discussion points, and new provocations which may lead to interesting research and findings.


I Want My Hat Back is such a delightful tale. The clever use of eye placement creates the significant connection between text and illustrations in which the whole story is based.  The emotions, and therefore, the storyline of the tiny fish and the large fish are told in these minute changes.  He truly is masterful.


Jon’s titles both as an illustrator and an author can be found below:


Interview with Jon Klassen and his Candlewick publisher Liz Bicknell


Related Posts