How to Knit a Monster by Annemarie van Haeringen
How to Knit a Monster
Review Copy from HMH Books
Story: Greta is a goat who is very good at knitting. In fact, she is so good at knitting that one day she decides to knit a goat - just a small one. Soon, her house is filled with frolicking (knitted) little goats! When Mrs. Sheep blusters in saying she is a much better knitter, Greta is distracted. Soon, a knitted wolf jumps off her needles and gobbles up Mrs. Sheep. Greta hastily knits a tiger to take care of the wolf then has to knit something to stop the tiger. She knits a monster, saves the day and even manages to unravel him with a, "Riffle raffle riffle raffle whoosh," Mrs. Sheep emerging intact, but, well, a bit sheepish. As Greta returns to her knitting, a basket full of green skeins of yarn, she thinks about knitting fresh grass for the little goats. As she knits and daydreams she doesn't watch her knitting and...
Pictures: van Haeringen's illustrations are all lines and evocative of yarn. Making Greta a goat adds a playfulness to the characters and the little goats she knits, with their bits of pink and blue, are adorable. The style of illustration also lends itself to the scary bits, where the wolf and tiger appear and attack. Ultimately, van Haeringen's style works perfectly with the knitted monster, clearly a mash-up of the baby goats and the wolf. With the flow of the story, the illustrations move from white page backgrounds to dusky colors that make the mood. With a limited palette, the burst of green at the end of the book is a special treat.
Why Read? Why Buy?: How to Knit a Monster is definitely a book for knitters, this book is out of the ordinary and just plain fun. Greta's gift for knitting and the consequences of not paying attention make for a great story. The illustrations are especially magical, as is the idea of knitting a monster.