My children and I go to the public library once a week, each time refreshing our haul of new books to enjoy for the next seven days. (After the library, we go and get a couple of donut holes. It's always a good time.) My oldest son is especially fond of books. For example, instead of having a stuffed animal to snuggle with when he lays his head down at night, he has a stack of his favorite books next to his pillow. Reading is important, and my husband and I have tried to emphasize it in our family as something to love. So far, so good. This post, however, is not on the merits of reading. This post is for me to geek out in excitement about children's picture books that have some kind of knitting theme.
I'm crazy, I know. But these books make me very excited for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, it is an easy way for me to share my love of knitting with my young children in a format that they, too, enjoy. Yes, they see mommy knitting away and I allow them to assist when practical, but they are still a little young for me to really teach them about the craft. We are at exposure age, not knitting age. These fun knitting themed books are nice because my sons get excited because they are about knitting. "Like you, mommy!" they gleefully giggle at me as we pick out our books.
The second reason I love these books is because they encourage inter-generational exchange. I learned to knit when I was a young girl from my great grandmother. She didn't speak english and I didn't speak german, but we figured it out nonetheless. She gave me a priceless gift. These books often include charming tales of older people teaching younger people. Even if this exchange between generations is not directly in the story and a young child or a grown adult is simply knitting, it could spark inquiries in real life about where and whom to learn the craft from. Knitting is an old art. I sometimes think of it as the ancient oral traditions where histories and lessons were handed down from one generation to the next. I love that these books introduce small children to the art with great illustrations and memorable tales. A small child might not want to pick up knitting needles right away, but it could plant the seed for a later date.
So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that the next time you are in the market for a book for a young child, consider a knitting themed book. (The two I have pictured here are lovely, if you need a suggestion.) It may seem like a topic that would not interest tiny tots, but just think of what hand crafts are usually all about- love. Any story about love and taking the time to share it has to have some merit, don't you think? And just think, if you buy a knitting themed book, you are likely supporting a knitter somewhere out there. Perhaps you're even encouraging the birth of a new member to the craft.