Children’s Books with a Hand-Made Theme

Beautifully illustrated children’s books captivate my attention more than a New York Times best seller.  And, if it is a well-told story about making things – especially with fabric or yarn — then the book is sold!  Three favorites that fall into this category are Knitting Nell, Shall I Knit You a Hat?, and Doggie in the Window.

Knitting Nell is written and illustrated by Julie Jersild Roth.  This book is about a quiet young girl, Nell, who loves to knit anytime, anywhere.  She knits scarves, sweaters, hats, mittens, and socks for family, friends, and occasionally herself.  She also donates boxes of her beautiful hand-made items to people close to home and those far away.  It is a beautiful book with a wonderful message about helping others.  This is Ms. Roth’s first book.  You can see what else she is up to by visiting her website,; listen to a great interview with her at (Episode 54).

Shall I Knit You a Hat?  A Christmas Yarn is written by Kate Klise and illustrated by M. Sarah Klise.  These two sisters have collaborated on other books, but this is their first picture book.  The main characters, Mother Rabbit and Little Rabbit, design and knit beautiful, one-of-kind hats as gifts for their animal friends as Christmas presents.  The idea is hatched when Mother Rabbit hears the weather forecast of an impending snowstorm and the excitement builds as she and Little Rabbit go about taking measurements, designing and making the hats, and delivering the final masterpieces before the wintry weather arrives.  As you read the story, you can feel the warmth of the fire and the excitement in the air.  This is a great book to read when a real snowstorm is on the way!   Visit to check out other books by Kate and Sarah Klise.

Doggie in the Window is written by Elaine Arsenault and illustrated by Fanny.  In this book, Doggie really, really wants Mademoiselle Madeleine to adopt him and goes to great lengths to get her attention. When he learns that Mademoiselle Madeleine is a costume designer/seamstress, he also finds his true calling:  he, too, wants to sew, and in the course of the book, he shows us his great talent.  I would love to snap my fingers and step into this story if for no other reason than to explore Mademoiselle’s workroom and play with her fabrics and trimmings myself.   I had a bit more trouble tracking down personal websites for this author and illustrator. You can find additional information on both Ms. Arsenault and Fanny at

Doggie Window Elaine Arsenault, Fanny Hardcover JUVENILE FICTION English 9780888996190 PUBLISHERS GROUP WEST JUVENILE FICTION BOOKS

Next time you are at the library or your local bookstore – whether you have a child in tow or not – take a few minutes to check out these titles.  I hope you find the illustrations inspiring in the way the artists use color, pattern, and texture to create a wonderful feeling that reinforces the words the author has chosen to tell her story.  So, happy reading and happy creating!


3 Responses to “Children’s Books with a Hand-Made Theme”

  1. patty martin Says:


    I love it! You’re an excellent writer and the illustrations are beautiful…great job!

  2. Cookie W. Says:


    Your blog is way cool! What a unique idea for the opening entry. Nicely done.

  3. Cookie Says:

    I was catching up this morning and read the idea of artist dates. I think it would work as well for working on a business….like having a creative business date. I guess that’s why people feel so charged up after attending conferences…they’re part information…part inspiration. Also true of quilt shows!

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