Emily MacKenzie, author of the delightful Wanted! Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar, is back with another funny, original picture book featuring a very special central character. Stanley is a cat with a passion – he just loves to knit. He knocks up pompoms at breakfast time, and bobble hats at bath time; he knits at the supermarket (tail cosies), and even on the bus. His knits non-stop for his friends, kitting them out in wonderful woollies. Then one day Stanley’s eye is caught by a poster advertising a knitting competition and his knitting reaches fever pitch! None of his friends can work out what he’s creating, but maybe Monkey comes closest guessing that Stanley is knitting the longest rainbow in the world. As Stanley’s needles fly – clickety-knit, pom-pom-pull, bobbly-bits – his knitting grows and grows until he runs out of wool. Undaunted, he takes back the clothes he knitted for his friends ignoring their anguished cries (‘eeeek!’ and ‘Not my pants!’) and leaves them shivering! Stanley’s creation is truly breath-taking, and by then he doesn’t really care about the competition, he just wants to share it with his friends.
The illustrations are full of spontaneity and there’s a surprise or visual treat with every turn of the page: a spread of bunnies in balaclavas for example, or Stanley’s ‘great unravelling’, multi-coloured scribbles depicting a mass of tangled yarn. By the end of the book it seems entirely logical that a cat would knit, while each of Stanley’s friends are little characters in their own right. A terrific picture book, Emily MacKenzie is a talent to watch.