A Yarn about a Tree

Kitty McCarthy
Weirwood, LLC (2021)
ISBN: 978-0-578-84853-2
Reviewed by Rachel Dehning for Reader Views (02/2022)

Being an advanced beginner in cross stitch myself, I found “A Yarn about a Tree” purely enjoyable and exciting for the senses. Knitting is the craft of choice in this story, but not much separates the crafting choice versus the message wishing to be taught.

In “A Yarn about a Tree,” a young girl named Molly finds herself knitting to her heart’s content, including so far out as to find herself down the street from her home. While out, Molly meets a young boy named Jake who is friendly and eager to learn Molly’s craft. Jake shares a concern with Molly – the tree he enjoys sitting under is scheduled to be removed with the construction of a new road soon. Molly and Jake set to work to knit scarves to protect the tree, similar to the clothing items Molly has made for her animal friends. Once they get the hang of it, nothing is stopping them from accomplishing their goal, and they venture back to the tree and hang up the scarves – gathering the attention of a nearby crowd. Starting with curious questions leads to a segment on the television, following to the succession of their original goal. Molly and Jake learn that almost anything is possible for them, so who knows what will cross their paths next.

“A Yarn about a Tree” is a tasteful story about having a problem and figuring out a solution based on the means that you possess. In the back of the book, the author includes a short segment on yarn bombing, or yarn graffiti that made a name in the 1990s, and is similar, yet downgraded, in this story. While yarn bombing/graffiti is likely done out of more negative emotions in a real-life protest, Molly and Jake’s act was seemingly harmless and a blessing to the whole community.

I had never read a children’s story about a type of craft accomplishing so much, but when I read it here, it just makes sense. The story is comprehensible for my seven-year-old and myself, so easily understood by a vast audience. The story is diverse and inclusive, as evidenced by Jake being a boy in a wheelchair. What made him great was that he never complained of his impairment to Molly, but eagerly took on the task necessary to accomplish the saving of the tree.

The storyline is timeless and the illustrations are calming; they are in black and white with the yarn being colorful. Initially, I wondered if the pages would be textured, but they are not, it is only a trick of the eye. In our society with the recent history of protests and meaningless violence and anger, “A Yarn about a Tree” shows that change can happen when people are in the right mindset, stay calm, and explain the facts. Things just might fall into place without so much effort. Wonderful story.

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