The Never-Ending Sweater by Erin Welch

The Never-Ending Sweater by Erin Welch
Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

A heartfelt story that celebrates the power of intergenerational love, connection and friendship, featuring the nostalgic imagery of a small East Coast village.

When Peter was little, he asked his grandmother to knit him a VERY big sweater. So she made him a sweater with love knit into every stitch. Young Peter wore the sweater, with its drooping sleeves and oversized body, everywhere he went. Eventually, Peter outgrew his small seaside village and decided to see the world with his sweater providing comfort and a reminder of home on every adventure. After traveling for many years, he returns home to find a new family next door. They too have traveled from far away, and Peter finds a connection with the young son, who also needs a comforting reminder of home.

Love comes in all shapes and sizes, including fuzzy ones!

I adored the descriptions of Peter’s childhood in a small, Canadian town by the ocean. He was free to run around and play wherever he wished to, and he made sweet memories on the beach and in his grandparents’ backyard. What made these scenes ever better were the later ones that explained why he decided to leave his community and explore the world. It was such a kind and respectful look at why some people love small town life while others are happier elsewhere.

One of the big things I wish this tale had explained was how the sweater lasted for decades and still looked brand new. Kids are notoriously hard on their clothing, and some scenes showed Peter romping around on stony beaches and other places where it would be easy to snag a sweater on something and maybe tear a hole in it. If only the narrator had explained whether there was something magical going on here or if Peter’s grandmother quietly repaired the sweater when he wasn’t looking!

The ending made me smile. There were so many similarities between it and the beginning that it made me want to read the whole thing over again. I also appreciate the way it tied all of Peter’s adventures into who he was as an older adult and what he’d learned from his travels.

The Never-Ending Sweater was a cozy autumn read.

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