Author: Rosner, Jennifer
Ruthie Tober's family is known for the beautiful, warm mittens they knit so when she and her mother meet a deaf woman and her baby and give them shelter, Ruthie decides to design very special mittens for them.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: .5 Quiz: 170860
Kirkus Reviews (08/15/14)
School Library Journal (08/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (02/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2014 K-Gr 3—The Tobers raise sheep, and young Ruthie loves to knit mittens from their wool for the villagers. When her family befriends a deaf woman whose wagon has broken down and her baby, the child observes how the mother, Bayla, sleeps with a string tied between her own wrist and Aaron's, to alert her if her son wakes up in the night. Inspired, Ruthie knits the pair a set of baby- and mother-sized mittens connected by a string and goes on to make more for the local children to keep them from losing their mittens. "You are both clever and kind," her mother praises. "You make our world a bit better with every stitch." The character of Bayla is based on the author's great-great-aunt; Rosner also has two deaf daughters. It is not surprising, therefore, that her portrayal of deafness is extremely respectful and sensitive. When Bayla uses sign language with Aaron, "To Ruthie, it looked as if Bayla were standing before an invisible spinning wheel, her words flowing from her fingers like delicate strands of yarn." Swarner's rounded and gentle watercolor prints add to the safe, warm feeling of this story of resourcefulness and mutual admiration. The "old country" Jewish setting is subtle, giving the story flavor without dominating it. Knitting and sign-language glossaries round out this attractive title. This beautiful story of kindness, acceptance, and resourcefulness will have wide appeal.—Heidi Estrin, Congregation B'nai Israel, Boca Raton, FL - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 02/01/2015 The family of young Ruthie Tober produces their small village’s wool supply, and Ruthie particularly enjoys dyeing the wool bright colors and using the resulting yarn to knit mittens for the area’s children. When Ruthie’s family encounters a deaf woman with a baby in need of help, they offer her and her child shelter for the night. Bayla, the woman, has a bright blue strand of yarn wrapped around her wrist, which intrigues Ruthie, as does the woman’s use of hand signs to communicate with her child. In the night, Ruthie discovers what the blue yarn is for: Bayla attaches one end to her baby’s wrist and the other end to her own, so that she will be alerted if the baby wakes. Ruthie is inspired by this invention to knit a baby mitten attached by a string to a larger mitten for the pair to wear on cold winter nights, and she also adds a string between each mitten pair that she has knitted for the village’s children, so that the mittens can be threaded through a coat and kept from being lost. An author’s note explains that the story was inspired by Rosner’s deaf great-great aunt, who lived in a village in Austria in the 1800s and used a similar technique for “listening” to her baby at night. The tale itself is sweet but not saccharine, and the gentle tone of the storytelling is well matched by the softly textured illustrations and muted palette. Creative and compassionate kids will appreciate the innovative problem-solving that both Ruthie and Bayla demonstrate, and some may be inspired by the brief sign language glossary in the back to learn more about signing. JH - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.