________________ CM . . . . Volume XIV Number 4 . . . . October 12, 2007

cover

A Bumblebee Sweater.

Betty Waterton. Illustrated by Kim LaFave.
Markham, ON: Fitzhenry & Whiteside, 2007.
32 pp., cloth, $19.95.
ISBN 978-1-55455-028-9.

Subject Heading:
Grandmothers-Fiction.

Preschool-grade 3 / Ages 4-8.

Review by Jeannette Timmerman.

*** /4

Reviewed from f&g’s.

excerpt:

So Grandma Needlethorpe searched for her spectacles.
Then she hunted for her knitting needles.
Finally she rooted around for the right colors of wool.

internal art

Nellie is going to be a bumblebee in the spring concert. She draws a picture of herself as a bee and sends it off to Grandma Needlethorpe who is so impressed with the picture that she knits Nellie a bumblebee sweater to wear. Grandma sends the parcel off covered in sticky tape, which gets all over Nellie and Sparky, the dog, when Nellie and her parents open the parcel. Grandma’s eyesight isn’t the best even with her glasses on. The sweater is enormous. The arms hang below Nellie’s hands and have to be rolled up. The bottom is by her knees. But Nellie loves the sweater and thinks it is beautiful. She wears it to school the next day and is supposed to keep it “nice” for the concert. However, at lunch, she spills her drink down the front. Unconcerned, Nellie just turns the sweater around. When she gets home, her mother washes it. The pattern repeats itself. Every time Nellie wears the sweater, she has a mishap, and each time her mother washes it. When the sweater has to go into a special wash by itself, it shrinks terribly and no longer fits. The problem of what to wear in the concert is solved when there is a change of plans at school and Nellie comes home with a flower costume. When Grandma receives a picture of Nellie and two classmates dressed as flowers, Sparky is in the picture wearing the bumblebee sweater. Because of the sweater, Grandma mistakes Sparky for Nellie. The story ends on this humorous note. Betty Waterton is the author of 18 picture books and novels for children. Illustrator Kim LaFave has won a number of awards for his work including the Governor General’s Award. This funny, true-to-life story with its detailed, softly-coloured pictures will delight young listeners and independent readers. Adults also will relate to Nellie’s messes and to Grandma’s failing eyesight.

Recommended.

Jeannette Timmerman is a former teacher, consultant and administrator in the Winnipeg (MB) School Division.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.

Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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