picture books for pairing / on friendship and knitwear


Penguin and Pinecone: a friendship story by Salina Yoon


Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu


I didn’t come up with this pairing on my own. These two were presented together a year plus ago at Unwind Yarn  in Los Angeles. Both about friendship, both starring characters adorned with knitwear. It was a perfect fit and still is, especially at this time of year. (Not to mention their shared celebration of a blue and orange color scheme.)



Penguin and Pinecone

One of the sweetest books ever. Penguin finds a pinecone. And though Penguin doesn’t know what it is, she promptly knits it a scarf. And bam, they’re friends.

Sometimes friends belong different places and that’s what this book is about. Being in different places, but still being best of friends.



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Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 3.01.38 PMBelow is a figurine Salina Yoon crafted out of clay; At the event, she had the cut-out Penguin on the right (with scarf!) for kids to pose alongside.


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Squid and Octopus

I first became familiar with Tao Nyeu‘s incredible work through Wonder Bear. Do you know that one? It’s a wordless picture book that’s a very favorite of mine. Wonder-ful for real!

This one’s a series of four stories about good friends, Squid and Octopus.






The first installment is probably my favorite. Squid’s a big knitter. But while he says he’s knitting socks, Octopus claims they’re mittens. A quarrel ensues.

Until, because they’re friends, they agree to mix up their socks and mittens and share. And have tea and cake of course. And that’s just the first of their adventures.







Later, Octopus doesn’t know what to call the cowboy boot that floats down to him either. But he’s  pretty sure it’s a hat. And in this case, when all the other sea creatures disagree, Squid’s got his back. Because they’re friends.



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Here’s squid’s knit hat courtesy of Tao Nyeu, and a pattern for you to make a matching one!













Pairing these books explores so many aspects of friendship: gifts, sacrifice, quarrels, differences, like-mindedness, and cake to name a few!

4 Responses to picture books for pairing / on friendship and knitwear

  1. A sweet pairing indeed! Penguin and Pinecone is one of my all time favorites!

  2. Thanks to Cathy’s recommendations – Penguin and Pinecone is one of my all time favorites too. 🙂

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