Friday, January 15, 2010
The Knitting of Elziabeth Amelia
by Patricia Lee Guach
ill. by Barbara Lavallee
unpaged picture book
New York : Henry Holt, 2009
Elizabeth Amelia is lovingly knitted out of some wool yarn. This makes her very soft and bouncy. As she grows up she is very popular for this very reason. Eventually she marries a man (not knitted from wool). Elizabeth Amelia wants some children but she can't find the perfect yarn to knit them with. So what else is there to do, but start unraveling her own leg to create her first child. The second, third and fourth children use up pretty much all of her legs. So what is left of her just sits around on the couch and hugging her children. Her husband points out that their children need a mother that can get up and do things, "You're nothing but a pillow". Startled into action, Elizabeth Amelia begins reconstructing herself. With the help of her children she undergoes an extreme makeover and is once again able to dance with her husband.
Let's just say I found this story rather odd. The idea of a doll being able to grow up and get married is a little creepy. The fact that she gets married and his children, even more so. I wonder if the author is trying to say something along the lines of mothers give so much of themselves to their children that they tend to neglect themselves. While this might be a true statement in some cases, I still find the execution of the idea strange. Why couldn't all of the characters been dolls?