PPBF: A Hat For Mrs. Goldman

Today I'm excited because I got this beautiful treasure in the mail.
From a first grader in Illinois. Can you tell what it says?
Growing character. Isn't that beautiful?

See the seed coming up through his hand?
Then he puts a C over his heart.
Growing character. 
In sign language.

Today's PPBF might also tug at your heartstrings
because, it, too, is about growing character.

Author: Michelle Edwards
Illustrator: G. Brian Karas
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Birth Date: October 11, 2016
Suitable for: ages 4-8
Themes: empathy, compassion, problem solving
Brief synopsis: Sophia has been helping her neighbor, Mrs. Goldman, by creating the pom-poms to put on the hats her neighbor knits for everyone else. But who will knit a hat to keep Mrs. Goldman's keppie warm?
Opening page: When Sophia was a tiny baby, Mrs. Goldman next door knit her a tiny baby hat to keep her warm. 

Resources: Read a comprehensive review {here}.
Learn more about the Jewish culture {here}.
Get a pom-pom pattern {here}.
Watch a read-aloud {here}.

Why I like this book: First of all, it's special because I got it as a gift from my friend Tanya up in Montana. She saw it and thought of me; isn't that so kind of her? And, if you've been reading my blog for awhile, then you know that my greatest pride and joy during my 14 years at Westwood Elementary was the knit-for-service club that I helped start; enJOY our Knitting Club video {here}. 

We got the ball rolling with our third-grade students when my son Jacob, who is now 27, was just 9 years old. We started making 7X9" patches, then cinching and sewing them into these precious hats for preemies in developing countries. It was SUCH a rewarding project on so many levels. 

And this book is the perfect complement to that project as Sophia learns to knit, gets frustrated, gives it up so she can make pom-poms, then picks it up again with the goal of blessing her neighbor with a hat of her own. Reminds me of Hailey, the third-grade knitter I wrote about in What's Under Your Cape? She was so sure that knitting wasn't for her that she gave her knitting needles to me, to donate to someone else, but as she watched her friends knit these little baby hats, she decided to try again.

The hat that Sophia knits is exactly like the ones that my kiddos would knit, dropped stitches and holes all over, but she doesn't ditch knitting this time; instead, she problem-solves the holes and ends up making something so incredibly special and unique for her elderly friend. Such a lovely mitzvah. What's a mitzvah?, you ask. Well, you'll have to check out this book for the bonus Jewish culture and words woven in.

My stars: I predict that this gem will warm your heart
just as these hats warmed babies in Africa and beyond.

Photo credit: Save The Children

Then head to Susanna Hill's blog for today's other PPBF picks.


  1. What a gem! Love this story about compassion, kindness and character. And, I love how it ties into your school knitting project. This book does tug at your heart! Perfect choice today!

  2. I am so glad you liked the book! But oh that hand drawn picture about growing character - a beauty in so many ways!

  3. This sounds like a perfectly heart-warming story for cold fall days! Thanks so much for sharing it - and your story about knitting projects at the school.


I really enjoy hearing from my readers; thanks for sharing your reflections with us!