Knit Your Bit
A World War I Story
What is this book about?
Mikey’s dad has left home to fight overseas during World War I, and Mikey wants to do something BIG to help. When his teacher suggests that the class participate in a knitting bee in Central Park to knit clothing for the troops, Mikey and his friends roll their eyes—knitting is for girls! But when the girls turn it into a competition, the boys just have to meet the challenge.
Based on a real “Knit-In” event at Central Park in 1918, Knit Your Bit shows readers that making a lasting contribution is as easy as trying something new!
“The bright telling is right at a kid’s level and captures both the specificity of the time and universality of human interactions. The author’s note (bolstered by an image of a contemporaneous poster) puts the fiction in solid historical context. Guarnaccia has chosen to illustrate in a style reminiscent of oldtime Sunday funnies, perfect for the story. Oversize and set on white backgrounds, the pictures keep the focus on the amiable characters. … A terrific yarn.” (Booklist)
“Hopkinson again gracefully mines history with this story highlighting a patriotic civilian initiative during WWI … Hopkinson brings the cause into the present, suggesting resources for information about current knitting efforts for soldiers and veterans. An enlightening piece of historical fiction that drives home the idea that every little bit helps.” (Publishers Weekly)
“Hopkinson’s text is snappy and engaging and her dialogue has just enough period flavor to be authentic while still resonating with modern kids … Guarnaccia’s pen-and-ink and watercolor illustrations use muted tones and Lois Lenski-esque figures to successfully conjure a period look, and blond Mikey is a ruddy-cheeked, knickerbockered all-American boy of the nineteen-teens.” (Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books)
“As in previous titles, Hopkinson was inspired by an actual event, creating a fast-paced narrative sure to appeal to children today. E‑communication has long outstripped snail mail, but the loneliness and the worry of families left behind will still resonate. Guarnaccia’s pen-and-ink–and-watercolor illustrations nicely evoke the fashions of the time period. Liberal use of white space focuses attention on the children … A fine entry in commemoration of the upcoming centennial of World War I.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“Hopkinson provides readers with a glimpse into life on the World War I home front. … The illustrations’ muted hues, heavy on olive and khaki, indicate times past, but Guarnaccia also capitalizes on white space, giving readers room to consider the times and themes presented here. Hopkinson’s appended author’s note provides more information about WWI and brings the war-relief effort into the twenty-first century, noting places that today accept knitted items for soldiers.” (The Horn Book)
author, Deborah Hopkinson
illustrator, Steven Guarnaccia
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
ages 5 and up, 2013