Bookshelf: Mr. Nick’s Knitting

This is an oldie but a goodie, a picture book I read with my kids when they were little. You may only be able to find it at a second hand store or a library, but it’s well worth your time. The illustrations by Dee Huxley are charming, she captures emotion so well. And I love the story author Margaret Wild spins, of an old man named Mr. Nick who knits on the train, hedgehogs and kangaroos and sweaters for his nieces and nephews. All the while he sits next to his good friend, Mrs. Jolley, until the day she doesn’t show up.

I love Mr. Nick’s pince-nez and bowler hat, and Mrs Jolley’s purple hat and sensible shoes and overstuffed purse spilling yarn and knitting needles. But mostly I love the friendship between these two, and Mr. Nick’s creativity and dedication (He knitted during his lunch hour, and in the bathtub, while he cooked his dinner and while he listened to the radio.) so that he can help his friend feel better. It ends with a surprise (what has Mr. Nick been working on?) and a sense that we can all be connected, even when we’re apart.

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