Granny McFlitter – The Champion Knitter

Granny McFlitter – The Champion Knitter

My eldest daughter is 5, and at school. Each week she gets to go to the school library and bring home 4 new books. They’re usually really interesting or fun books, but Granny McFlitter was the first one that made me go “Oh My Gosh, I just *have* to blog about this book”.

Although this would be a great “Read to me” book, MissE wanted to read it to her parents, so we were able to relax and enjoy it.

First thing I love about this book… I’m a knitter (although not as talented as Granny McFlitter), so I had an instant empathy with our main character (and was indigent on her behalf)

But did Granny stop knitting?
Oh no, she did not!
She kept right on knitting …
Like it or not!

It’s a great story with wonderful rhyming sentences that make for a light parental read, or a challenging but fun story for a newish reader. Words like ‘knitting’ with it’s silent K are great (and on every page so easy to master), as well as more advanced words like Ludicrous.

What made me really sit up and take notice of this story though, was seeing RENA written on the boat. If you’re not from New Zealand, the RENA went aground near Tauranga, New Zealand, in 2011, resulting in a major oil spill that caused huge environmental damage. 

Grannny McFlitter turns her knitting skills into making knitted jersey’s for the wildlife that were covered in oil.

This was a huge environmental disaster, and in real life so many people came together to try and clean the beaches and the wildlife. Part of this was a call to knit jerseys for cleaned penguins to wear to keep them warm. It was an amazing success, and the organiser was inundated with knitted jerseys from around the world.

So the story itself had real meaning for me, and I was able to talk with MissE about the shipwreck, the cleanup and knitting for charity.

The story is just such a warm, positive and uplifting story. Using your talents or skills, in perhaps unexpected ways, to help the world. Once the penguins were sorted, Granny went on to find other causes to knit for.

The language of the story flows beautifully, making it a really great story to read out-loud. Having the refrain of “no she did not” helps engage young readers as they’ve got something to contribute too.

The illustrations are delightful, with bright colours and cheery depictions – but despite being full page illustrations the text overlays are still easy to read (a bugbear of mine is when the text is so difficult to read because it blends into the illustration).

Granny McFlitter was a winner of the storylines Gavin Bishop award, and a finalist in the finalists in the 2018 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults (Picture Book Award).

I really enjoyed this story, and I’m sure you will too.

Title: Granny McFlitter – The Champion Knitter
Author: Heather Haylock
Illustrator: Lael Chisholm
Publisher: Penguin Random House NZ
Date of Publication: 2018
ISBN: 9780143770541