A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Vocabulary related to knitting: stitches, rows, dropping a stitch. Instructions for knitting a hat and making a pom-pom. Hebrew word mitzvah, Yiddish word keppie.
It's good to do "mitzvahs" (good deeds) for others. We can all be kind and contribute goodness to the world. When others need things, we can help supply them. Even if you're unsure of your skills, you can use them for good. People of different races and backgrounds can be friends and be kind to each other.
Positive Role Models
Everyone's kind and caring in this book. Mrs. Goldman knits hats for new babies, neighbors, friends. She teaches Sophia to knit and when that's too frustrating, lets her make pom-poms. Sophia helps Mrs. Goldman walk her dog. When she realizes Mrs. Goldman doesn't have a hat of her own, she struggles to knit her one as a present.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love, by Michelle Edwards, illustrated by G. Brian Karas (Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla), is a lovely book about friendship and kindness that revolves around a knitting project. It features an older Jewish woman who knits hats for all who need them, and a young Mexican American girl whom she teaches not only to knit, but also the importance of doing good deeds, a lesson readers themselves can take to heart. Edwards and Karas paint a kind and gentle world where people of various ages and races care for one another with great tenderness. Instructions for knitting a hat and making pom-poms are included.
Is It Any Good?
In this heart-touching book about friendship, people of different ages and backgrounds knit each other hats and treat each other with care, making the book an excellent tool for teaching kindness. A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love, Sophia, a young Mexican-American girl is friends with elderly Mrs. Goldman, who sprinkles her conversation with Yiddish and knits hats for all in need. But in the snowy winter, she herself doesn't have a hat, so Sophia picks up her knitting needles and takes matters into her own hands. The hat that results is lumpy and has holes, but Sophia fixes it with a batch of her specialty pom-poms.
The story itself is crafted with love. The text is simple but with vivid detail -- "The soft wool smells like Mrs. Goldman's chicken soup;" "tiny fluffs of snow fall on Mrs. Goldman's head" -- and G. Brian Karas' art conveys the love and warmth perfectly. The very touching takeaway of this story is that knitting (and love) can be "lumpy and bumpy," but that's OK, because you can always add a few pom-poms.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.