The Weaver’s Surprise
Tom Knisely’s newest book features rugs, but it’s not a rug-weaving book. In fact, it’s not a weaving book in the traditional sense. Instead, The Weaver’s Surprise is a charming children’s story about a friendly weaver, a family of mice, and the way weaving connects them all. Tom’s trademark warmth as well as the love and joy he has for weaving are apparent on each and every page, in no small part because of the beautiful illustrations of Megan Lloyd.
Upon first reading the book, I was utterly delighted, but I knew that to truly evaluate it, I needed the opinion of an expert: my two-year-old son, Henry. As I began reading the book, he immediately commented on the “little mousies” and pointed out the loom. As we read, he became even more engaged, repeating the “Swish! Thump! Bump!” used to describe the noises of weaving. Henry was rapt during the entire story and even ran to my loom right after and declared, “I make rug!” as he played with the treadles.
As with Tomie de Paola’s classic Charlie Needs a Cloak, no knowledge of weaving is needed to enjoy this book and the sweet story it tells. In fact, it’s a great way to learn about weaving. The illustrations of the loom and weaving tools are lovingly rendered, proper weaving terms are used, and there’s an illustrated tool guide at the end. Children have a remarkable capacity for learning and understanding, and this book treats children like the intelligent little humans they are. I look forward to reading this book many more times with Henry and using it to teach him more about weaving as he grows.
—Christina Garton (and Henry)
Guilford, Connecticut: Stackpole Books, 2019. Hardcover, 32 pages, $16.95. ISBN 978-0811738217.