Made by Raffi
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.