cover image Mr. Nick's Knitting

Mr. Nick's Knitting

Margaret Wild. Harcourt Children's Books, $12.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-200518-4

``Every morning on the seven o'clock train to the city Mr. Nick opened his briefcase and took out his knitting.'' With this engaging opening, Wild introduces the daily routines of her story's title character and the aptly named Mrs. Jolley, his knitting partner on their 45-minute commute. As portrayed in Huxley's warm and cheering watercolors, these two are immediately likeable. When Mrs. Jolley misses the train for three days, Mr. Nick discovers that she is very ill and goes to visit his friend, bringing pink yarnand new knitting needles. Mrs. Jolley is too despondent to knit, but her companion has a solution. In a wonderfully frenetic sequence of paintings, Huxley presents a seven-day knitting marathon, as Mr. Nick creates an afghan for his friend in which each square depicts one of the many sights seen on their daily train ride. Now, even though they are apart, Mr. Nick and Mrs. Jolley can still knit every morning at seven o'clock. By keeping her narrative style straightforward and unemotional, Wild makes this affecting story of a special friendship all the more touching. Ages 4-8 . (Oct.)