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Monday, December 19, 2016

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and Love, written by Michelle Edwards and illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Schwartz & Wade Books, Random House. 2016. $23.99 ages 4 and up

"An icy wind blows Mrs.
Goldman's hair left and
right. It turns her ears
pink. "Where's your hat?"
asks Sophia. "I gave it to
Mrs. Chen,' she explains.
Mrs. Goldman's keppie
must be cold, worries
Sophia. At home, Sophia
thinks and worries again.
Worries and thinks."

It's so important, at this time of year, to teach our children to think of others. It is awfully easy to become caught up in our own wants and wishes. Sophia is a little girl who notices things. She sees that her neighbor, Mrs. Goldman, is always more concerned with others than she is with herself. That is why everyone else needs a hat, while Mrs. Goldman's hat is missing during a cold winter walk with Sophia. She has given it to someone in need.

Sophia helps with the hats her friend makes by fashioning pom-poms to trim them. Now, she decides that she will help her friend even more by making 'the most special in the world' for her. It takes a great deal of time and hard work, and is not quite as perfect as Sophia would like it to be. Sophia does not give up; she carries on with persistence to do what she set out to do.

This is a book about love, admiration and caring. It has all the warmth needed to make it a favorite shared read. G. Brian Karas does a terrific job with mixed media to show the love that exists between the generations. I especially love the series of spot pictures he creates for the hard work undertaken by Sophia before she finally throws her needles in the air in celebration of the completed work. Well, almost completed! To add to the feeling of authenticity for his lovely images, Mr. Karas did learn to knit. Now, that is commitment to your art!

If it puts you in a gift-giving mood, instructions for your own 'Sophia Hat' are included in back matter. Add some wool and a helping hand, it's the perfect gift for someone who cares about others.

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