Sunday, January 29, 2006

Shall I Knit You a Hat? by Kate Klise

Shall I Knit You a Hat? A Christmas Yarn
By Kate Klise
Illustrated by M. Sarah Klise
Ages 4-8
Topics: Christmas, gifts, friends, hats, knitting, animals
ISBN: 0-8050-7318-3

A blizzard is due to arrive on Christmas Eve and its going to snow until it “reaches the tallest tips” of Little Rabbit’s ears. Little Rabbit doesn’t want to get too cold so Mother Rabbit offers to knit him a hat. “’Yes, please,’ said Little Rabbit. ‘A Christmas hat, just for me.’ Little Rabbit loves his hat and suggests that they make hats for all their friends as Christmas presents. Little Rabbit designs the exotic hats, but their friends aren’t so sure about them… until the blizzard sets in.

This winsome tale is a wonderful exploration of friendship, generosity, and individuality. The rabbit mother and child are oddballs who respect their friends’ individuality and their own. The acrylic illustrations are charming and cozy for the most part and quite hilarious at times. The cozy indoor scenes include the dinning room illustration with plates on the wall with springs of evergreen and the final illustration of the rabbit mother and child on their red sofa and are warm reds and yellows. The funny illustrations include those in which the rabbits secretly measure their friends for their hats and one scene in which all the friends gather together with their new hats on with Little Rabbit holding up a mirror saying “See how beautiful you look?” The outdoor scenes are bright blues and white and feature a wonderful animal market. This book is fabulous in a quirky way and would make a wonderful Christmas gift that will charm way beyond Christmas Day.

The author, Kate Klise, and the illustrator, M. Sarah Klise, are sisters. They have previously collaborated on illustrated novels for children but this is their first picture book.

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