March 2017


By Vera Brosgol

2017 Caldecott Honor winner Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol is my pick for the March Book of the Month.  When I purchased this book I was not sure if the story would speak to everyone as it is a bit unusual. But when I read it, I found it to be a mindful fairytale for the new millennium.  I was also impressed that when I first read this book at snack, the children loved it! 

The main character is a cranky old woman who only wants one thing: time to knit. Winter is coming and she needs a quiet place to knit sweaters for her many charges. Unfortunately, her hoard of children are pretty nosy which makes it impossible to concentrate on the task at hand. The woman is so frustrated, she escapes to the woods, the mountains and even to the moon to find a quiet place to knit -- without luck. Finally, she finds a “worm hole” and climbs into the quiet blackness of the page where she finds the peace she needs to complete her task. Once completed, she misses her charges and returns home to share her freshly knit warm sweaters with her little ones. 

Everyone at first reading seemed to enjoy the words of the old woman, "LEAVE ME ALONE," which is repeated time and again throughout the story. I wondered how the children would relate to the concept of a black hole until one listener commented, “Look, the old lady went into a portal.” Another listener commented about the old lady’s bad manners, which sparked a conversation about having nice grandmas who do not yell and may or may not knit. 

Not only an interesting story, this book provides bright and colorful graphics…bears, goats and little green moonmen.  Who can argue with a moonman!

It is nice to know that even though the woman appears unkind, all she wants to do is make sure her little ones are warm in the winter.  And who can argue with that!

2017Janie Greene