When Cousin Clara's cottage is consumed by a crocodile, she comes to live with Lester's family. Unfortunately for Lester. As it turns out, Cousin Clara is a knitter, a curiously prodigious knitter. One morning Lester awakens to learn that she has knitted him a sweater. But this sweater is unlike any sweater Lester has ever seen. It is a "less-than-pleasant yellow and smothered with purple pom-poms".
Forced to wear the dreadful sweater to school, the fastidious
Lester does not have a good day. When the sweater is found damaged, Cousin Clara is quick to supply another quirky sweater. As fast as each sweater is mysteriously damaged, Cousin Clara supplies another. When Lester wears another Cousin Clara creation to his friend, Enid Measles' birthday party, he is mistaken as one of the party clowns. But Lester finds that there are some people who are very appreciative of Cousin Clara's sweaters. It is an ending that is happy for all involved.
Campbell's hilarious book contains delightful pictures done in pencil crayon, that wonderfully convey just how dreadful Lester's sweaters are. Other illustrations portray Campbell's quirky sense of humour, such as when Lester is caught cutting up the sweaters in what appears to be . The clowns are creepy looking but not in a frightening way - more a comical creepiness.
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters is Campbell's debut. Campbell will illustrate the next book by author Kate DiCamillo, entitled The Illuminated Adventures of Flora and Ulysses, which is due to be published in 2013.
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters by K.G. Campbell
Toronto: Kid's Can Press 2012