If You Want to Knit Some Mittens
In this humorous picture book, a girl’s desire to knit mittens leads to something even better: the warmth of friendship.
How do you knit a pair of mittens? The first step is to get a sheep of course! In this playful story, a girl follows 18 steps to knit mittens–from bringing home a sheep to carding, spinning, and dyeing the wool to knitting the mittens. But along the way, her mischievous sheep creates chaos and wins her heart. By wintertime, the girl has sunny-yellow mittens, the sheep has a sunny-yellow hat, and together they’re ready for adventure. This tale of patience, creativity, and friendship is knitted from skeins of humor and love.
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Angela Matteson
Publisher: Boyds Mills Press (10/26/21)
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Honors and Awards
- Nominated by Tennessee librarians for the Volunteer State Book Award
FREE Activity Sheets
Click on any image to open a downloadable .pdf file.
These activity sheets linked below go with Adventures in Measurement lesson plan, which I wrote for Patricia Newman’s fabulous LitLinks series.
- A Yarnie Is Long
- A Yarnie Is Short
- Longer or Shorter?
- My Yarnie (writing page)
Behind-the-Book Stuff and Writing Process
Reviews & More
- Press release
- Booklist: “Salas’ text sets a playful tone, and Matteson makes the most of it in the colorful, occasionally madcap illustrations. An appealing picture book about mitten making, with a good deal of merrymaking along the way.”
- St. Paul Pioneer Press: “In this delightful book, half “how-to” and half story, a girl shows us the 18 steps to creating mittens…Funny and interesting, this is a winner.”
- Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Holiday Books: Picture Books for Children: The fact that “knit your mittens” is step 18 gives you an idea of how thorough (and funny) this step-by-step book is.”
- BookPage: Tips for Teachers: On the farm — Hands-on activities for 3 farm-related picture books: If You Want to Knit Some Mittens, The Barn, and Cold Turkey!
- Watch. Connect. Read. John Schu interviews Laura and illustrator Angela Matteson. “Honestly, who was the first person who looked at a sheep and thought, ‘a cozy, soft scarf, that’s what I’ll make’? But that’s the surprise and joy of making things—that transformation.”
- Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books:“Gentle humor keeps the many instructions from seeming too list-like (do not, our narrator advises, give into your sheep’s requests for mohawks or “sheeptails”), and the textured illustrations, painted with acrylics, gouache, and “a touch of color pencil on wood board” are appropriately cozy and soft.”
- Sally’s Bookshelf: A review and a couple of extension craft ideas!
- Growing Book by Book: A round-up of fun picture books featuring a how-to structure
- Blissfully Bookish: An interview about the writing process. “And the voice was mostly there from the beginning. The beginning of the book is 1. Get a sheep. Seriously. So that hardly changed from my idea file. But over time, Rebecca helped me see that there needed to be more of a relationship in this book. Sheep couldn’t just be a wool-provider. Girl and Sheep had to care about each other.”
- SLJ: A Fuse 8 Production: The Scourge of Skyward Knitting Needles: A roundup of picture books showing knitting–who got it right? And wrong!
- Kirkus Reviews: “Colorful mittens require 18 steps of preparation, but they are a toasty warm reward…An enjoyable crafty excursion.”