Yetsa's Sweater

Overview

On a fresh spring day, young Yetsa, her mother and her grandmother gather to prepare the sheep fleeces piled in Grandma's yard. As they clean, wash and dry the fleece, laughter and hard work connect the three generations. Through Yetsa's sensual experience of each task, the reader joins this family in an old but vibrant tradition: the creation of Cowichan sweaters. Each sweater is unique, and its design tells a story. In Yetsa's Sweater, that story is one of love, welcome and ...
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Overview

On a fresh spring day, young Yetsa, her mother and her grandmother gather to prepare the sheep fleeces piled in Grandma's yard. As they clean, wash and dry the fleece, laughter and hard work connect the three generations. Through Yetsa's sensual experience of each task, the reader joins this family in an old but vibrant tradition: the creation of Cowichan sweaters. Each sweater is unique, and its design tells a story. In Yetsa's Sweater, that story is one of love, welcome and pride in a job well done.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz
As Yetsa and her mother work with her grandmother, we follow the steps necessary to prepare fleece shorn from the sheep: first cleaning it of debris, then washing, rinsing, and wringing it out. The following week, they tease or fluff the clean wool, card it, and spin it into yarn. A week later, Grandma has rolled the black, gray, and white yarn into balls and has begun to knit, using the traditional patterns of the Coast Salish women of British Columbia for Cowichan sweaters. Yetsa has outgrown her old sweater and is happily wearing a new one knitted by Grandma as the book ends. The story proceeds in sequence in the simple text; the illustrations are naturalistic scenes depicting the steps used as the three generations produce the distinctive sweaters. Emotional ties are subtly incorporated into the illustrations as the tasks are shared. Yetsa learns each as she enjoys the ritual eating of Grandma's "blackberry jam and fresh bread." An extensive note fills in information on the history of the Cowichan sweater.
School Library Journal

PreS - Gr 3 - Children who wonder how wool gets from the sheep into the sweater will find their answers here. A grandmother and her granddaughter participate in a 100-year-old tradition that represents a blending of the knitting skills of Scottish immigrants and the woolworking talents of the Cowichan tribe, according to an author's note. Realistic outdoor compositions portray three generations pulling debris (including sheep dung) from the fiber, washing and stirring it in enormous pots, and then wringing and hanging the heavy strands to dry. The processes of "teasing," carding, and spinning lead up to a scene of Grandma knitting the gray, white, and black yarns into the patterns, rich in symbolism, that adorn her loved one's sweater. Larson's pastels create a marvelous range of textures from the grain of the wooden fence to the fluff of the drying wool. Set in British Columbia, the story will have wide appeal, not the least of which includes its use as an informative how-to and a tale of strong family bonds. Pair this with Tomie dePaola's Charlie Needs a Cloak(S & S, 1973) for the sheep's point of view.-Wendy Lukehart, Washington DC Public Library

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550392029
  • Publisher: Sono Nis Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,477,210
  • Product dimensions: 7.80 (w) x 9.80 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Olsen is the author of two previous Orca Young Readers as well as two Orca Soundings. She lives in North Saanich near Victoria, British Columbia.
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Read an Excerpt

"What are you knitting into this sweater, Grandma?" Yetsa asks.

Grandma smiles. "Flowers. Fish and waves. Woolly clouds, and blackberries."

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