Klise, Kate illus by M. Sarah Klise. Shall I Knit You a Hat? A Christmas Yarn. Square Fish, 2007. ISBN 978-0312371395 32 pp. $
And speaking of great new picture books, my Christmas orders came in earlier this week and you all must buy Shall I Knit You a Hat?: A Christmas Yarn by Kate Klise. Because of an impending blizzard, Mother Rabbit knits a hat for Little Rabbit. He likes it so much that he asks his mother to knit hats for all their friends for Christmas so they won’t be cold in the snow. What makes this so adorable is the hats themselves. Little Rabbit’s hat is fitted to his ears – kind of like toe socks. The other animal’s hats are giant and bizzare-looking (bells hanging off and the like). The expressions on their faces wearing their new hats for the first time is priceless as is Deer saying “My antlers have never been drier.”
Shusterman, Neal. The Schwa was Here. Puffin, 2006. ISBN 978-0142405772 pp. $9.99
I also read The Schwa was Here by Neal Shusterman. What an odd little gem. Anthony “Antsy” Bonano first notices the Schwa while attempting to destroy an indestructible plastic mannequin. The Schwa is Calvin Schwa, a young man who is “visibly challenged” as in no one notices him to the point that Antsy’s mother repeatedly hits him in the face while talking with her hands because she doesn’t see him there. There’s a lot going on in this book: Calvin’s story and that of his mother who disappeared nearly a decade earlier and Antsy’s relationship with his family. There’s also a cranky old man and his blind grand-daughter, 14 Afgan dogs, and a butcher with a tale to tell. Definitely one worth picking up.