Hello, friends! Our book today is The Story Blanket, written by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz, and illustrated by Elena Odriozola, a tale of generosity and community.
In a small village in the snow-covered mountains – the nation is not identified, but context clues suggest somewhere in Eastern Europe – there lives an old woman named Babba Zarrah. The local children love to gather at Babba Zarrah’s home to hear her stories, cuddling together on a cozy blanket affectionately called “the story blanket”. One day, Babba Zarrah notices that one child, Nikolai, has a hole in his shoe. She resolves to make him a new pair of warm socks, but laments that she has no wool yarn. She decides to take a bit of wool from the story blanket, and secretly leaves the new socks on Nikolai’s doorstep. She then notices that the hardworking postman could use a new scarf, and the grocer’s shawl is threadbare, among others. Suddenly, mysterious knitted gifts are appearing at people’s homes, and the village children have noticed the story blanket getting smaller and smaller. What happens next is a lovely lesson in kindness and how caring for others is just another way to care for ourselves.
Simple yet sweet. While this appears to be an original story, it has the comforting feel of a classic folktale and makes for a gentle and heartwarming reading experience. The illustrations also have a rustic folk-art look about them, using thin lines and colorful textures to create often-humorous visuals. The cast all present as white with exaggerated features; it was nice to see some larger body types represented, though it’s unclear how realistic these are meant to be. The length is great for a storytime, and JJ enjoyed it overall. This one is humble in tone and execution, but no less edifying or enjoyable for it; Baby Bookworm approved!
(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.)