Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell
Lester lives a very orderly, meticulous life until the arrival of Cousin Clara (whose “cottage was consumed by a crocodile). She installs herself in his family’s home and begins knitting sweaters – each one more horrific than the last. Lester manages to destroy every single one of them almost as quickly as Clara churns them out, but his reputation is beginning to suffer. When he’s forced to wear a particularly hideous sweater to a classmate’s birthday party, he attracts the attention of the clowns hired to entertain the party guests. They absolutely adore his sweater. Lester – seeing the light at the end of the tunnel – invites the clowns home where they carry Cousin Clara off in their caravan to knit dreadful sweaters for them full-time.
This story is a little strange and quirky and may appeal more to adults. Kids, however, should appreciate Lester’s dilemma – being forced to wear clothes that he hates. And, although Lester is a peculiar little boy, I found him very appealing (especially his many notebooks, one of which is entitled, “Suspicious Stuff Starting with C”). Funny and full of alliteration and interesting wordplay, this would make a great read-aloud.
* * * Stars (Pretty good)
Reviewed by Karin Thogersen, YA Librarian
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