PPBF: Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters

Author/Illustrator: K.G. Campbell
Publisher: Kids Can Press, 2012
Age Level: 5-9 yrs
Themes: guests, sweaters, school mishaps
Opening: Cousin Clara’s cottage was consumed by a crocodile. Luckily, Cousin Clara wasn’t in it.
Summary: (from Amazon) “…when Cousin Clara moves in and knits him truly dreadful sweaters as fast as he can surreptitiously dispose of them, Lester must think of a way to get rid of them for good — or be doomed to look like a clown forever.”

Snapshot 2013-01-14 08-57-45

What I thought: The cover got me…again! The illustrations are marvelous, soft yet edgy, the compositions striking, and her use of color to convey emotion, well, all these things are spot on. The writing is good, and I especially like the alliteration and use of ‘big words’, but the beginning lines promise another story. I wouldn’t mind if K.G. Campbell delivered it to us in another book, but they are out of place here. Still the silliness of the dreaded gifts, the complications and the solution, are strong enough to make this a very enjoyable read for a slightly older audience. One thing I was thrilled to see were a pair of scissors, in use – glad the publisher had the guts to keep that illo in – I won’t tell you too much, but it’s my favorite page!
Resources/Activities: teach a child to knit; Does the thought always count? Lead a discussion on appreciation, and how to react upon receiving gifts one might not like.
For more PPBF picks, go to Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog – HERE