It is with great pleasure that I share with you this Read Aloud Thursday Deborah Hopkinson‘s newest picture book, Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story. We have long been fans of Hopkinson’s work here at Hope Is the Word, so when this opportunity presented itself to get a sneak peek at her latest work of picture fiction, I jumped at it. Knit Your Bit is the story of Mikey, a little boy who is left behind at home when his father goes to be a soldier in World War I, and he longs to go with his dad. His dad, however, admonishes him that “it takes just as much courage to stay behind,” and in the coming days, Mikey learns how this is true. When his mom encourages him to take up knitting socks for the boys at the front, Mikey refuses. That is, he refuses until his teacher announces a knitting bee at school, and the girls dare the scoffing boys to participate. There is a Red Cross campaign to “Knit Your Bit” to provide “sox” for the men at the front, and so Mikey and his friends decide to give it a try. While none of the boys is exactly successful, Mikey does manage to finish one whole sock during the knitting bee. Most importantly, he learned the importance of doing something out of his comfort zone and something sacrificial to help someone else. The story has a surprisingly touching ending which I won’t ruin by giving away here. Steven Guarnaccia‘s illustrations are large, cartoonish, and colorful, which helps to lighten the somber subject matter a bit for the intended audience. We all enjoyed this story a lot, and I was particularly glad to share a World War I era story with my girls since those seem to be less plentiful that stories set during other wars. Today is the release date for Knit Your Bit, and I am grateful to Provato Marketing for providing us with a pre-publication copy to enjoy. (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2013)
I interviewed Deborah Hopkinson back in 2011, and tomorrow I’ll be sharing a short interview I conducted with her recently regarding Knit Your Bit and Annie and Helen. Be sure to visit Hope Is the Word again tomorrow for more about these great picture books! Check out Deborah’s blog for more stops on the blog tour.
Other historical fiction picture books by Deborah Hopkinson I’ve reviewed:
So tell me–what have you been reading aloud with your family this week?