Knit Your Bit  -     By: Deborah Hopkinson
    Illustrated By: Steven Guarnaccia
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Knit Your Bit

Illustrated By: Steven Guarnaccia
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers / 2013 / Hardcover

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Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 32
Vendor: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 039925241X
ISBN-13: 9780399252419
Ages: 5-8

Publisher's Description

Mikey’s dad has left home to fight overseas during World War I, and Mikey wants to do something BIG to help. When his teacher suggests that the class participate in a knitting bee in Central Park to knit clothing for the troops, Mikey and his friends roll their eyes—knitting is for girls! But when the girls turn it into a competition, the boys just have to meet the challenge.


Based on a real "Knit-In" event at Central Park in 1918, Knit Your Bit shows readers that making a lasting contribution is as easy as trying something new! 

Author Bio

Deborah Hopkinson (www.deborahhopkinson.com) is the award-winning author of more than 40 books for young readers, many of them historical fiction picture books that illuminate the lives of ordinary people or forgotten figures in history. Deborah lives in West Linn, Oregon. 

Steven Guarnaccia (www.stevenguarnaccia.com) is an associate professor in the Illustration Program at Parsons The New School for Design. He is a former art director of the New York Times Op-Ed page, and his illustrations have appeared in books, magazines, and greeting cards. Steven lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Publishers Weekly

Hopkinson (A Boy Called Dickens) again gracefully mines history with this story highlighting a patriotic civilian initiative during WWI. After Pop goes overseas, Mikey scoffs at helping Mama and his sister knit clothing for soldiers: “Boys don’t knit,” he says. “Besides, I want to do something big to help.” But after his teacher announces a knitting competition to benefit soldiers (based on an actual “Knit-In” held in New York City’s Central Park in 1918), Mikey and two friends accept a boys vs. girls challenge to win the knitting bee. With a hint of Hergé, Guarnaccia (The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale) contributes clean, understated cartoons that humorously convey the boys’ determination and frustration as they tackle their knitting projects. Even Mikey’s mixed results (he knits one perfect sock but botches its mate) work out in the end. Closing notes provide additional background, and Hopkin­son brings the cause into the present, suggesting resources for information about current knitting efforts for soldiers and veterans. An enlightening piece of historical fiction that drives home the idea that every little bit helps. Ages 5–8. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Feb.) 2012 Reed Business Information

Editorial Reviews

STARRED REVIEW FROM BOOKLIST
 
“The bright telling is right at a kid’s level and captures both the specificity of the time and universality of human interactions. The author’s note (bolstered by an image of a contemporaneous poster) puts the fiction in solid historical context. Guarnaccia has chosen to illustrate in a style reminiscent of oldtime Sunday funnies, perfect for the story. Oversize and set on white backgrounds, the pictures keep the focus on the amiable characters.  . . . A terrific yarn.”
 
 
FROM PUBLISHERS WEEKLY:
 
“Hopkinson (A Boy Called Dickens) again gracefully mines history with this story
highlighting a patriotic civilian initiative during WWI . . . Hopkinson brings the cause into the present, suggesting resources for information about current knitting efforts for soldiers and veterans. An enlightening piece of historical fiction that drives home the idea that every little bit helps.”
 
 
FROM THE BULLETIN OF THE CENTER FOR CHILDREN’S BOOKS:
 
“Hopkinson’s text is snappy and engaging and her dialogue has just enough period flavor to be authentic while still resonating with modern kids . . . Guarnaccia’s pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations use muted tones and Lois Lenski-esque figures to successfully conjure a period look, and blond Mikey is a ruddy-cheeked, knickerbockered all-American boy of the nineteen-teens.”  
 
 
FROM KIRKUS REVIEWS:
 
“As in previous titles, Hopkinson was inspired by an actual event, creating a fast-paced narrative sure to appeal to children today. E-communication has long outstripped snail mail, but the loneliness and the worry of families left behind will still resonate. Guarnaccia’s pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations nicely evoke the fashions of the time period. Liberal use of white space focuses attention on the children . . . A fine entry in commemoration of the upcoming centennial of World War I.”
 
 
FROM HORN BOOK:
 
“Hopkinson provides readers with a glimpse into life on the World War I home front. . . . The illustrations’ muted hues, heavy on olive and khaki, indicate times past, but Guarnaccia also capitalizes on white space, giving readers room to consider the times and themes presented here. Hopkinson’s appended author’s note provides more information about WWI and brings the war-relief effort into the twenty-first century, noting places that today accept knitted items for soldiers.”

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