A fastidious fellow, Lester likes everything just so. So when Cousin Clara moves in and knits him truly dreadful sweaters as fast as he can surreptitiously dispose of them, Lester must think of a way to get rid of them for good -- or be doomed to look like a clown forever.
Just in time for Holiday Gift Receiving! Lester politely accepts each increasingly bizarre sweater, but then disposes of each in increasingly unbelievable accidents, until he is finally caught. The solution is just as unbelievable, but highly satisfactory for everyone involved. A fun way to broach the subject of receiving gifts with good grace, and considering others' feelings, without the feeling of having a moral lesson crammed down your throat (Jamie Lee Curtis I'm looking at you). Knowing my kids, I can already pick out which sweaters each will think are marvelous, so we can talk about different tastes and opinions as well!
The illustrations are absolutely wonderful, with Lester's expressions becoming more and more doleful (and at times rather evil), and fun details such as leaves drifting in the door or the dog batting at a bell from under the sofa. The setting seems to be the Louisiana bayou country, which makes a sharp contrast to Lester's persnickitiness (he measures his socks to ensure they are the same height). It may also pay to point out that those whose clothes are raggedy but clean don't seem to be embarrassed at all, while Lester of the carefully knotted tie is more consumed with how he looks.
If you are still doing your Christmas shopping (and who isn't?), gift this with
- a nice sweater
- a plain sweater to decorate for your own ugly sweater contest
- knitting needles and yarn and a promise of lessons