Friday, November 5, 2021

Need Mittens? Get a Sheep!


If You Want to Knit Some Mittens 
by Laura Purdie Salas; illus. by Angela Matteson 
32 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2021

theme: friendship, patience, humor

1. Get a sheep. Seriously.

According to Laura Purdie Salas, there are eighteen steps to knitting mittens. The first one is obvious: get a sheep. Once you get that sheep, you’ve got to feed her, and keep her warm and dry. And then you’ve got to give her a buzz cut, wash the wool …. So Many Things To Do until you can finally knit your mittens. And throughout it all there is this sheep – who sometimes helps – and maybe your dad, who also might help, and quite possibly some chickens.

What I love about this book: I love tongue-in-cheek guide books, especially when they provide real instructions while the illustrations show what is “really going on”. In this book, the instructions for how to get from sheep-to-knitting needles are on point … and, except for the sheep (and the actual knitting) I have done them all. Wash wool. Dry it. Card it. Dye it. 

These things take time. Especially when you decide, at the last minute, that you want to dye your wool the color of sunshine and the Natural Dye Book says you need marigolds and you haven’t planted any marigolds – yet. So… there is a lot of waiting that also goes into making mittens. But all that waiting is worth it because that’s how you discover the meaning of true friendship.

Beyond the Books:

Finger knit a flower. You don’t need knitting needles to learn some knitting basics. All you need is some pretty yarn, this tutorial, and some patience. If you get addicted to finger knitting, find a hoop and weave a coaster (embroidery hoop), or a rug (hula-hoop).

Try making natural dye using beets. You can use juice from cooked beets to paint your own gift wrap, or use beet tops to stamp designs on a napkin, or use beets and other things (onion skins, rose hips and berries outside) to do bundle-dying.

Today we're joining Perfect Picture Book Friday, an event where bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's website. Review copy provided by the publisher.


  1. What a brilliant way to show the farm-to-finger process! I've got to find a copy. Thanks for the rec!

  2. Thank you so much for connecting with the various layers of this book and for loving it. And you've done all the steps (almost)! I'm in awe...

  3. PS Thanks for the activity suggestions, too! Going to link to this from my site--and Pin it, too ♥️

  4. Ah, that cover is to die for! I love the concept of this book. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the post.

  5. Okay, now I'm dying to see how the chickens are involved. Great review, Sue.