A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love

by Michelle Edwards (Author) G Brian Karas (Illustrator)

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
This heartwarming winter story is perfect for those who love to knit and parents looking to teach their children about the importance of doing good for others!

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn't have a hat-she's too busy making hats for everyone else! It's up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren't even, and there are holes where there shouldn't be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman's hat the most wonderful of all. Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia's frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

A knitting pattern is included in the back of the book.

"[A] celebration of winter mitzvahs, or kind deeds. Karas's adorable, radiant art adds to the heartwarming mood."--The New York Times

Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
Edwards' story radiates warmth and coziness and is a delight to share.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Sophia notices that Mrs. Goldman knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood and never thinks of herself. "Where's your hat?" Sophia asks when they're out on an icy day walking Mrs. Goldman's dog. "I gave it to Mrs. Chen," the woman replies. Sophia prefers making the pom-poms that adorn Mrs. Goldman's hats to knitting anything herself, but she decides to make Mrs. Goldman "the most special hat in the world." In a series of captivating spot illustrations, Karas (Make Way for Readers) shows Sophia hard at work, her dot eyes intently focused on the yarn. But Sophia's knitting leaves much to be desired. Can this token of love be saved? It's a supremely lovely story, a tribute to the rewards of grit and selflessness; Edwards's (Max Makes a Cake) unadorned, emotionally genuine text is as winning as the pictures. Readers will be able to add two words from Jewish culture to their vocabularies--keppie and mitzvah--and there's one more word that fits both Sophia and Mrs. Goldman to a tee: mensch. Ages 4-8. Author's agent: Lori Kilkelly, Rodeen Literary Management. Illustrator's agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.)

Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

Starred Review

PreS-Gr 2—Mrs. Goldman is a knitter, and she uses her talents to show love and affection for everyone in her neighborhood by making them all hats. Sophia receives her first hat from Mrs. Goldman when she is a tiny baby, and she grows up to spend time helping Mrs. Goldman add the finishing touches to her knitted hats by making pom-poms. During a cold prewinter walk, Sophia notices that Mrs. Goldman's head is bare because she spends all of her time knitting for others. Sophia makes it her mitzvah (good deed, as Mrs. Goldman taught her) to use her limited knitting skills to make Mrs. Goldman a hat. Sophia works hard but finds that her finished product has a few holes in it. Feeling discouraged for a moment, the child remembers Mrs. Goldman's praise of her pom-poms, and she adds red pom-poms to any areas that are bare; Mrs. Goldman is delighted. Mixed-media illustrations showcase the research the illustrator put into learning how to knit to faithfully execute the artwork. Soft lines and muted color choices give the illustrations a look that perfectly complements the art form. Back matter includes a pattern for making a knitted hat and instructions for making pom-poms. The hat pattern does require adult assistance and a basic working knowledge of knitting, though the pom-poms could easily be accomplished by a novice. VERDICT This heartwarming offering achieves its emotional impact through the loving actions of its main characters and makes for a great read-aloud whether shared one-on-one or with a group in storytime.—Samantha Lumetta, Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH

Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Michelle Edwards
Michelle Edwards is the author of numerous picture books, including Chicken Man, winner of the National Jewish Book Award; Max Makes a Cake, illustrated by Charles Santoso; and Room for the Baby, illustrated by Jana Christy. A lifelong knitter, Michelle has also written an adult title, A Knitter's Home Companion. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa, where she and her husband share a house full of books and yarn. Learn more at michelledwards.com.

G. Brian Karas has illustrated many award-winning books for children, including How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin? by Margaret McNamara, Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins, Neville by Norton Juster, Clever Jack Takes the Cake by Candace Fleming, and Are You Going to Be Good? by Cari Best, a New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book of the Year. He lives in New York's Hudson Valley. Visit him at gbriankaras.com.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Schwartz & Wade Books
Publication date
October 20, 2016

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