Monday, June 1, 2015

Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story by Deborah Hopkinson

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Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story 
by Deborah Hopkinson
illustrated by Steven Guarnaccia 
Picture Book
Feb. 2013

Book Jacket Summary
Mikey’s dad has left home to fight overseas during World War I, and Mikey wants to do something BIG to help. When his teacher suggests that the class participate in a knitting bee in Central Park to knit clothing for the troops, Mikey and his friends roll their eyes—knitting is for girls! But when the girls turn it into a competition, the boys just have to meet the challenge.

Based on a real “Knit-In” event at Central Park in 1918, Knit Your Bit shows readers that making a lasting contribution is as easy as trying something new! 

My Thoughts
A nice bit of history about World War I and knitting. I have tons of friends who love to knit and crochet but I have never had the coordination or patience to learn properly. This book makes me want to try again. 
It is a cute book that follows the life of Mickey whose father is off to fight in World War I. His mother and sister start to knitting hats and socks to keep their father warm in the upcoming winter months overseas. Mickey thinks it is all "girl stuff" until he is dared by a classmate. He ends up at a knitting bee and giving his one perfect sock to an amputee solider.
It was nice to see a boy learn to knit in a picture book, even if he did put up a fuss. He practiced and practiced to knit his father a pair of socks. The author notes talk about all the different groups that knitted for the cause. Including a group called the Rocky Mountain Knitters Boys of Colorado who were called upon to be as patriotic as the girls. The inside cover also has pictures of the different groups knitting!
I would recommend for an older elementary age, especially when they start to think in gender stereotypes. This might make some boys think differently about knitting and give it a shot.

Book Pairings
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Mr. Nick's Knitting by Margaret Wild
Knitting Nell by Julie Jersild Roth



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