What Zola did on Tuesday by Melina Marchetta
Illus. by Deb Hudson. Puffin, 2020. ISBN: 9781760895167.
(Age: 6+) Highly recommended. The second in a series of books about the irrepressible Zola, has the year two girl becoming interested in knitting, partly because her Nonna is trying to knit a scarf, but also because the new family next door is doing some knitting. When her teacher encourages the class to do something for those less fortunate than themselves, Zola suggests knitting a scarf. But once she has suggested this she remembers that perhaps her Nonna is not such a good knitter.
Full of humour and brimming with the close ties of family, alongside new arrivals in the community, children will love reading of Zola and her life. She helps Nonna in the community garden, tries hard to make her dog obedient, plays with her friend Allesandro who lives in the house behind her, and now makes new friends with Bianca and Omar next door.
With gentle subtle humour, Marchetta parallels the arrival of Italian migrants to these shores several generations ago with the newer arrival from the Middle East.
Each family is strongly family oriented, with a grandma living with the families. They come together over their animals and knitting, while the two families share some of their culture with each other. This is a charming story of Zola and her eagerness for make people feel welcome. The book is one of a set of seven and has two pages of knitting instructions at the end of the book for those so intrigued that they want to try it themselves.
Theme: Family, Immigration, Knitting.