Friday, December 3, 2021

Review - Soomi's Sweater

Soomi's Sweater

by Susie Oh
Date: 2021
Publisher: Clavis
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: NetGalley

Soomi's new sweater arrives, but it doesn't quite fit. Mom makes it just right and Soomi can't wait to show her friends. Soon, Soomi's brand new sweater isn't so new anymore. Her friends try to patch it up, but nothing works. Thankfully, Mom knows just what to do. She creates something better than brand new!

A heartwarming book about a little girl and her brand new sweater. For children ages 4 years and up.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I don't quite get it.

A little girl named Soomi is bought a new sweater that's way too big. But she wants to wear it, so her mother rolls up the sleeves and pins up the hem. But when Soomi takes off her jacket at school, she snags the sweater and a hole in the sleeve appears. Her friends try to help with glue and tape, but it all just makes a big mess and Soomi ends up having a tantrum on the classroom floor. When her mom finds out, she patches the sweater with a piece of an old t-shirt and some embroidery, making the sweater better than new. And Soomi vows not to wear it until she's bigger.

What's the message here? Young children shouldn't wear sweaters? Zippers are evil? Kids are useless at problem-solving and adults will always save the day? None of those seem quite right for a children's book. Why did Soomi's mom buy her a ridiculously big sweater in the first place? And what happens if a real kid does the same thing to their sweater, but their mom isn't as good at DIY sewing as Soomi's mom?

Soomi's plight is relatable, but it's almost to the point where it's upsetting. If her mom hadn't been able to salvage that sweater, this would've been a heartbreaking story. Plus, I'm not sure that a message that kids are incapable and need to let adults handle their problems is the best kind for a picture book.

Thank you to NetGalley and Clavis for providing a digital ARC.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 2/5

Enjoyment: 2/5

Overall: 2.33 out of 5

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