Made by Raffi

Creative Knitting - - BOOK REVIEWS -

By Craig Pom­ranz, Il­lus­trated by Mar­garet Cham­ber­lain (Frances Lin­coln Chil­dren’s Books, $9.99, 40 pages) Raffi is a small boy who is dif­fer­ent. He likes to sit qui­etly dur­ing re­cess rather than join in the rough-and­tum­ble play on the play­ground. When he learns to knit, he’s smit­ten with the ex­pe­ri­ence of the col­or­ful yarn and the process of cre­at­ing. He gets teased for his “tom­girl” be­hav­ior, but when he sews a cape to be worn in the school play, his class­mates come to ap­pre­ci­ate his tal­ents. (Bonus: The cape con­struc­tion is so well de­scribed and il­lus­trated, you’ll be able to make your own with­out any trou­ble.)

Made by Raffi is a mod­ern and timely chil­dren’s book. The school­child­ren are eth­ni­cally di­verse, Raffi’s par­ents and teach­ers are sup­port­ive, and the mes­sage is one of ac­cep­tance of those who feel dif­fer­ent. Although that all sounds quite se­ri­ous to adults, Mar­garet Cham­ber­lain’s ex­u­ber­antly col­or­ful draw­ings make this a cheer­ful read.

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