From School Library Journal
Grade 2-4–Nell is a shy girl who finds solace in knitting and purling. After being told that her voice sounds like a cricket with a pillow over its head, she retreats into her shell even more. She loves to knit mittens, scarves, and hats for her family, for herself, and for people in need. When her friends do not show interest in a sweater that she has made, she decides to enter it in the county fair. She wins first prize and is also awarded a special medal for outstanding efforts in the service of others. Her family is proud of her and her friends are amazed. After the fair, Nell begins to use her happy cricket's voice, especially when she is teaching her friends to knit. The watercolor illustrations are soft and bright and surrounded by white space. The layout varies from nine tiny pictures to a single illustration per page. Although smiles abound, the illustrations reflect the protagonist's quietness. A good addition where there is a demand for books about shyness.–Linda Staskus, Parma Regional Library, OH
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Nell is a busy young knitter, but because she has a quiet voice and a hobby that doesn't engender much excitement, she takes a back seat to her friends. Nell is not just knitting for herself; much of her knitting time is spent making scarves, blankets, and mittens for those in need. When the sweater that she enters in the county fair earns a blue ribbon and she gets a special medal for her good works, both Nell and her hobby become a lot more popular. Knitting may not seem a natural subject for a picture book, although more girls and boys are taking it up. However, Roth zeroes in on common kid traits such as shyness and a propensity to help others and wraps the knitting around them. The story is illustrated with spunk and charm in citrus-toned watercolors--some placed against a border of white, some in small squares, and still others meandering across two pages. The upbeat art pulls children into a story that might otherwise be passed over. Ilene Cooper
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