Random House provided a copy of A Hat for Mrs. Goldman free of charge. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own.
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love
By Michelle Edwards, Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Mrs. Goldman knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and her little friend Sophia decorates them with pompoms. But Mrs. Goldman’s head is cold, and Sophia wants to make her a hat to keep her warm. What follows is an endearing look at Sophia’s efforts to knit Mrs. Goldman a hat of her own.
The story reflects the love and effort that goes into knitting, and the joy that comes from giving away that work. The author is a knitter, and the cover blurb says that the illustrator learned to knit in to prepare for illustrating this book. It shows. The illustrations capture the essence of beginning knitters: tongue bitten in concentration, the frustration of dropped stitches, and the exhilaration of finally finishing. AND he gets the hand position right. There are no knitting needles pointing down in this book!
You’ll want to share this story with your favorite 4-8 year old, and at the same time you’ll probably find yourself teaching that child how to knit. Lucky for everyone, the pattern for Sophia’s hat is included at the end of the book. Designed by the author and Theresa Gaffey, it’s a garter stitch hat knit on large needles, with optional pom-poms, a great first project. Let’s “stitch it forward”, knitters!
Michelle Edwards is an author and illustrator, and “big-time knitter”. She has written many books for children, as well as A Knitter’s Home Companion, a collection of essays, stories, patterns and recipes.
G. Brian Karas has written and illustrated many children’s books, including On the Farm, At the Market.
Recently I discovered something that made me very happy: The Lonely Doll books are still in print. These picture books by Dare Wright were my favorite stories oh-so-many years ago. After all, the eponymous Lonely Doll is named Edith, and we Ediths have to stick together.
Of the several Lonely Doll books that I owned, my most favorite was A Gift from The Lonely Doll, in which Edith decides to knit a scarf for her friend, Mr. Bear. Because she wants to keep the gift a secret, she keeps the scarf hidden in a basket. There’s a not-so-surprise ending, but I won’t be responsible for spoilers. You’ll have to read the book yourself!
The Lonely Doll got me thinking about other picture books with good fiber-y content. I’ve rounded up a few titles here.
Charlie Needs a Cloak was especially popular at my house, because we actually had a Charlie.
I read Amos’s Sweater so many times, I still have parts of it memorized: “Amos was old, and Amos was cold and Amos was tired of giving away all his wool.” He really is a pretty grumpy old guy, but by the end of the story he’s no longer cold. Oops, I promised no spoilers.
Sheep in a Jeep, Sheep Go to Sleep, Sheep in a Shop, Sheep on a Ship (and others!) are classics and provide all the sheep rhymes you can stand. Read all of them and you’ll be dreaming of sheep, for sure.
I haven’t read this one, but can’t resist the rhyme.
Now it’s your turn. Comment below with your favorite fiber-related picture book. I’m off to find a small person who would like to hear a story or two.