Macomber, Debbie and Mary Lou Carney. The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater… That Grandma Knit. Illustrated by Vincent Nguyen. Book Review.

Click here to buy The Truly Terribly Horrible Sweater

Cameron is very excited to receive a birthday gift from his grandmother. She always gives him the best gifts, but this time he is deeply disappointed. Inside the box is a handknit sweater striped with green, blue, orange, and yellow. Cameron is mortified and vows to never ever wear it, especially in front of his friends. He tries a series of tricks to get rid of the sweater, but doesn’t succeed.

His mother says, “Grandma Susan would have been heartbroken if anything happened to this sweater.” Finally, Cameron begins to think about his grandmother’s feelings, but not enough to wearthe sweater. When grandma comes to visit, Cameron’s mother insists that he put on the sweater.

Grandma explains the significance of each color. Green represents Cameron’s excellent soccer skills, blue represents his success at learning to ride a two wheeled bike, orange represents his favorite fruit, yellow represents how happy his birth made the family, and red represents how he is always in his grandmother’s heart. Cameron’s attitude toward the sweater changes. He vows to wear it for a very long time.

Every child has received a gift that was disappointing. This book will remind them that the thought behind the gift is more important than the present itself. It also stresses the special link between grandmothers and their grandchildren and how different generations show their love in different ways. The story will encourage living life with a sense of gratitude, one of the most important keys to happiness.

Vincent Nguyen uses branch double spread pictures to illustrate the story. That this is a happy, loving family is apparent from the expressions of the characters.


Bonnie Ferrante: Books For All Ages


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