The Blog of Toledo Lucas County Public Library

Picture Books of the Lost... and Found

Posted 12/08/20 by Eric P

Every Saturday morning, the Library uploads a new virtual storytime.

You should check them out – they’re fun, they’re free, they explore subjects ranging from cookies to dinosaurs to superheroes, and they’re among the best ways to use the internet this side of cat videos.

I’m also pretty partial to the one about bugs.

My most recent virtual storytime dropped on Nov. 28, and it was all about losing things and finding things.

You know what it’s like when you can’t find a toy, or your other shoe, or the TV remote? It’s pretty frustrating. And like all human miseries, it’s the subject of a lot of art and literature. The only reason Grant Wood didn’t follow up his famous painting “American Gothic” with “Byron Looks for His Pitchfork” is because by that time Grant had probably misplaced his brushes.

My favorite book about losing something – one of my favorite books about anything, really – is “I Want My Hat Back,” by Jon Klassen, in which a bear loses its hat and goes looking for it. That’s it. That’s the whole story.

Cover of I Want My Hat Back

I Want My Hat Back

print   |   ebook

The book’s as tense as a film noir, as deadpan as a Buster Keaton short, as compelling as a “Law and Order” episode, and has almost as many animals as “Dr. Doolittle.” It’s also a masterpiece of minimalism – it uses exactly as many words as it needs to tell its story, and not one word more.

It also raises eternal questions like: what is justice? What are the limits of forgiveness? And what’s the deal with turtles?

I didn’t read “I Want My Hat Back” in my virtual storytime, or any of the other books listed below about things lost and found, but you should. Losing things is an inescapable part of life, and one of the things books are good at is helping us contend with the inevitable.

And check out the virtual storytimes the Library puts out every week, including my next one on Dec. 26. It’s completely free and worth every penny.

Outside the box storytime

Cover of Knuffle Bunny

Knuffle Bunny

eBook   |   BookFlix   |   Eaudio   |   Spanish
Cover of Where’s My T-r-u-c-k?

Where’s My T-r-u-c-k?

Cover of Polar Bear’s Underwear

Polar Bear’s Underwear

Cover of I Lost My Bear!

I Lost My Bear!

Search Ohio
Cover of Spot, the Cat

Spot, the Cat

Cover of Blanket and Bear, a Remarkable Pair

Blanket and Bear, a Remarkable Pair

Cover of Where Are My Books?

Where Are My Books?

Cover of Lost. Found.

Lost. Found.

Cover of Have You Seen My Dragon?

Have You Seen My Dragon?

Cover of Float


Cover of Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?

Have You Seen My New Blue Socks?

Cover of I Must Have Bobo

I Must Have Bobo

Cover of Olivia and the Missing Toy

Olivia and the Missing Toy

Cover of Bun Bun Button

Bun Bun Button

Cover of Hearts


Cover of Bear in the Air

Bear in the Air

Cover of Tommaso and the Missing Line

Tommaso and the Missing Line

Cover of Scout


Cover of Plaidypus Lost

Plaidypus Lost

Cover of Lost and Found

Lost and Found

Cover of The First Bear in Africa

The First Bear in Africa

“I Want My Hat Back” is part of our 101 Picture Book Challenge, which is for anyone at any age. Librarians hand-picked the titles on the list which includes classics, new titles, and everything in between.

This is the latest in a series of blog posts exploring some of the things we love about these books.