IMWAYR: Spreading Love & Warmth


The arrival of a new baby brings joy and always inspires me to break out my knitting needles. So it was this past weekend when my niece and her husband welcomed their third child, Vera. As I was putting the finishing touches on a frilly hat, I began thinking about picture books that spread the happiness a hand-knit gift brings.

Shall I Knit You a Hat (Macmillan, 2004) by Kate Klise and illustrated by M. Sarah Klise begins with Mother Rabbit hearing the news of “a blizzard moving this way.” She immediately knits a hat to keep Little Rabbit’s ears warm. Kind-hearted Little Rabbit loves his hat so much he asks Mother Rabbit to make hats for all their friends.


The theme of spreading love and warmth through hand-knitted hats is extended to sweaters for all, including animals, houses, and trees, in Mac Barnett’s Extra Yarn (Blazer + Bray, 2012). Hidden in the simplicity of this Caldecott Honor book, illustrated by Jon Klassen, are deep ideas about generosity and the true worth of a loving spirit.


Much to the dismay of his captain, Ned, the Knitting Pirate, by Diana Murray and illustrated by Leslie Lammle (Macmillan, 2016), loves to knit. But when an sea monster attacks their ship, Ned’s hand-knit “blanket with the jolly roger crest” comforts the angry beast and saves the day.


These books share a sense of love and comfort that we sorely need right now. They are perfect read-alouds for inspiring generosity in young children.

My knitting also inspired this #haikuforhealing, part of Mary Lee Hahn’s December haiku project.

loops of spun softness
slip off quicksilver needles
cozy hat blossoms

© Catherine Flynn, 2016

Please be sure to visit Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers for more book recommendations.

8 thoughts on “IMWAYR: Spreading Love & Warmth

  1. Congratulations on this new baby in your family! I know the last two and they are wonderful, but thanks for the first one, will find it. It looks terrific. Thanks, Catherine. Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I loved sharing Extra Yarn with my students! And Ned the Knitting Pirate is cute, too. I’ve requested Shall I Knit You a Hat? A Christmas Yarn from my library. Can’t wait to check that one out. Congratulations on the new baby in the family to help you celebrate the holidays!

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  3. Extra Yarn is such a favorite. I need to get Ned the Knitting Pirate–sounds quite amusing. Just the sort of title that goes over well with my college students. Love the name Vera! And a lovely haiku. I have so been enjoying reading the haiku this month!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I knit, but realized long ago that few people really like getting hand knitted things. (After getting sweaters I knit them back later in the hand-me-downs, completely unworn!) My daughter has taken to crocheting stuffed animals for her friends who have babies, and I wonder how long it will take her to realize the same thing! If you know the person and you know that Vera needs a hat, that’s another matter entirely! Good name. Haven’t had any students with that name!

    Liked by 1 person

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