cover image Knitting for Dogs

Knitting for Dogs

Laurel Molk. Random House Studio, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-5934-3458-1

Izzy, “a medium-sized girl with big ideas,” is a die-hard maker—a homemade tennis ball catapult is a particular favorite of dog Max. But success eludes her when Izzy, portrayed with light brown skin, tries to knit herself a sweater. She’s already completed a scarf and other basic projects, and she’s open to a learning arc: patient and tenacious, she tells Max, “Failure is part of the creative process. We just aren’t used to it.” And yet, “Each sweater was worse than the one before.” Then Izzy hits on the ultimate lemonade-from-lemons idea: turning a misshapen sweater into a warm garment for Max, which sparks demand at the local dog park; a marvelous watercolor and ink spread depicts triumphant Izzy watching sweatered pooches of all sizes romping and chasing tennis balls in the snow. Though IRL knitters will have justifiable qualms with the handling of knitting’s technical realities, Molk (A Synagogue Just Like Home) demystifies the problem-solving process with measured storytelling, wry images, and a cool but approachable protagonist, acknowledging both the frustrations of hitting a metaphoric wall and the joys of discovering new depths of personal ingenuity. Scarf directions conclude. Ages 4–8. Agent: Ginger Knowlton, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)