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Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
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Lester's Dreadful Sweaters

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  530 ratings  ·  158 reviews
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.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 1st 2012 by Kids Can Press
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Lisa Vegan
Aug 17, 2013 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lisa by: Melody
I love the premise of this story and found it hilarious, tinged with a bit of sadness until the very happy and funny ending. The illustrations definitely fit the story and were also properly amusing, but except for the adorable dog, I can’t say I found them aesthetically pleasing. The dog and its expressiveness is great though. I really loved Lester; he’s a wonderfully unique character. I like the story’s message of a person finding a good fit for themselves and its potential for discussing how ...more
When writing a picture book it can sometimes be a good idea to take a universal childhood annoyance and then build upon it in a satisfyingly ridiculous manner. And kids, let's face it, are often annoyed. They have to eat vegetables and take baths and take out the trash and any number of grumble-worthy daily events. And though I have no evidence to support it, I have a theory about bad gifts from relatives. I think that's something that crosses space and time and language and culture. I think tha ...more
Lester lives a very orderly, meticulous life until the arrival of Cousin Clara (whose “cottage was consumed by a crocodile). She installs herself in his family’s home and begins knitting sweaters – each one more horrific than the last. Lester manages to destroy every single one of them almost as quickly as Clara churns them out, but his reputation is beginning to suffer. When he’s forced to wear a particularly hideous sweater to a classmate’s birthday party, he attracts the attention of the clow ...more
“No one knows who’s cousin Cousin Clara really is” so she comes to stay with Lester’s family. When Cousin Clara knits Lester a sweater he is delighted, until he sees it. The sweater is very ugly and nothing Lester would like to wear with his neat ties and nicely combed hair. So everyday he devises a way to get rid of the sweater and everyday Cousin Clara knits him an even more horrifying one. Can he get rid of them all in time for Enid’s birthday party? Campbell’s comical illustrations go hand i ...more
Oh, this was a fun book! I am in love with the dog who is drawn with the cutest expressions. The drawings are whimsical and weird, the story is odd and inventive. I could read this one out loud over and over again. From the beginning, where Lester measures his socks to make sure they are even, to the end, when Cousin Clara finds her people, it's just an unmitigated delight. There is also plenty to look at on every page, which practically guarantees success at bedtime. Lester is a quirky and inte ...more
This is one of the best books I have read in a long time teaching good manners as far as receiving unwanted gifts. Lester has a (possible) Cousin Clara come to live with him and his parents. She loves to knit sweaters which is all fine and good. Unfortunately she gives them to Lester and they are terrible. Buttons and holes where they shouldn't be, horrible colors and wrong lengths as well. Dutifully Lester thanks his cousin each time but then some disaster befalls the sweaters. One met up with ...more
Sherry Philippus
The book jacket describes the book as "curiously odd" and I have to agree. Certainly, most readers (myself included) can relate to the experience of receiving an ugly/unwanted gift, so the premise of the story is appealing. The high vocabulary level, fabulous adjective choices, and Campbell's careful, persistent use of alliteration is evident from the first line, so the book scored points with me for language lessons. The trouble is, though, that I just don't find the main characters likable. Sa ...more
I adored the illustrations and overall, I liked the premise of Lester's cousin who knits ghastly sweater after ghastly sweater in this cute snd quirky story. There were a few awkward page turns where I felt a bit confused and wondered if I missed something, and had to go back to see if I missed a page, but alas, I didn't. It is a wordier picture book, so I'd recommend this for 3rd grade and up.
Michelle McBeth
I loved the creativity of this book about the many many dreadful sweaters made for Lester by his cousin Clara. The illustrations are gorgeous.
I know Lester appears to deal negatively with his humiliation, but it shows a very real story. Lester feels helpless and does the best he can under the circumstances. I think the end solution is very clever and works out best for all including Clara who really only wants to knit quirky sweaters.
I am going to disagree with the advertized age suitability h
Chris Go
If you ever had an aunt or other family member make things for you, especially clothing, you will relate to this book, and probably laugh out loud at points. For me, it was my well meaning Aunt Cookie. She loved to knit and crochet. Unfortunately, I think she may have been color blind, as she mixed the oddest palettes together. My sister and I received many - shall we say festive colored - ponchos. For Lester, his it is his Cousin Clara, who enjoys knitting sweaters. Poor Lester.

Each creation of
Jun 26, 2014 Tim rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: kids
This book revolves around one terrible, but believable, predicament occurring in a young boy's life - one that any reader could relate to and even sympathize with - a distant "auntie" moves in and knits him a sweater that his parents feel obligated to force him to wear.

No matter how quickly Lester "loses" the sweaters, the visitor replenishes them - all equally hideous. The author's vivid vocabulary and tongue-in-cheek humor really bring the story to life.

As the problem gets worse and worse, w
Poor, poor Lester, whose Aunt Clara knits dreadful sweaters with lightning-fast speed. Delightful illustrations.
If Edward Gorey & Polly Horvath had a literary love child, this would be it. - Kirkus Reviews.
I found this book to be hilarious. My grandmother made my younger sister a horrible bright yellow sweater with bits of white fluff stuck all to it. The family jokingly referred to this garment as the chicken sweater. My sister is now married and her new last name is Lester. The thought of her son, a Lester, being the next generation of ugly sweater wearers is too funny for me. This is especially so since I am the culprit who knits him the ugly sweaters.

I laughed out loud at the contradictions i
Laura Graves

I love Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. It’s one of my favorite picture books I’ve ever read. It has that quirky, silly feel to it that I always seem to appreciate. Lester, I suspect, has a mild case of OCD. His hair must always be combed to perfection and his socks must be at just the perfect length. He’s a very serious child. When Cousin Clara comes to live with them she begins making him the most dreadful sweaters, with random holes
All the dreadful sweaters of the world had to be worn by poor Lester! But why? The family receives Cousin Clara into their home. She occupies her time knitting, one day making a new sweater for Lester. Truly a one of a kind sweater, but not of Lester's liking. Quick to end his social embarrasment due to wearing the sweater to school,he destroys it. Clara keeps knitting and for each one he destroys, she knits a new one. What to do? Lester needs to decide to wear Clara's "avantgarde" creations or ...more
The illustrations in this story aren’t so great. Everything seems overshadowed by a dreary sepia tone that renders it all rather drab and lifeless. Even Lester’s Cousin Clara doesn’t match up to her description. She’s written to be “little and frilly” but is actually dumpy and fat with a mole, ugly little glasses and gray hair that sticks up from her round head and she wears a dowdy ankle-length dress. She looks like a slightly feminized version of Oliver Hardy. Her minor claims to daintiness ar ...more
Lester is a particular little boy who likes things just so. When Cousin Clara came to live with his family he was concerned. At first everything went well and Cousin Clara did not mess up any of his things. However, Cousin Clara knits and the sweaters she ends up creating for Lester are quite unusual and affect how people at school react to him. Lester decides to put a stop to it by destroying the sweater, but Cousin Clara just makes more and more, faster than Lester can get rid of them. In the ...more
S Farneth
The story is engaging and imaginative, however, the illustrations put a damper on the liveliness that could have and should have happened throughout the book.

The reader begins with two pages of alliteration which I expected to be carried on throughout the story, “Cousins Clara’s cottage was consumed by a crocodile.” This is the reason Cousin Clara came to stay with Lester’s family. Nothing else is mentioned of the crocodile and the alliteration ends there.

Cousin Clara is described as “little and
Katie Fleming
"Lester's Dreadful Sweaters," by K.G. Campbell is a story about Lester, who is a very organized boy, and his "cousin" Clara. Cousin Clara, who may not even be anyone's cousin, comes to live at Lester's house. While staying there, she knits sweaters that are particularly "dreadful" in Lester's opinion. Lester tries to get rid of these awful sweaters but Cousin Clara is making them by the tons. Eventually, Lester comes up with a plan that ships Cousin Clara off to knit sweaters for the clowns, who ...more
Here's a sentence I've never typed before in my lifetime and I feel certain I never will again: Luckily, a troupe of clowns comes along.

Clowns have never been on my "things I enjoy" list (except for HoHo, and only my fellow Okies will know HoHo), so the fact they are heroes of a sort here makes this book even funnier to me. I need to be able to give this six stars, because this book cracked me up. Big-time.

Cousin Clara's cottage has been consumed by crocodiles, so she comes to live with Lester
2nd/3rd Grade level Read. Good vocabulary development.

Texas Bluebonnet Nominee 2014-2015

This book is about a boy named Lester who gets lots and lots of ugly sweaters from this old lady (whom is suppose to be a cousin). Lester does everything he can think of to destroy the sweaters. He goes to school and a party and everyone hates the sweaters. At the party he meets some clowns who love the sweaters. So he takes the clowns back to his house to introduce them to his cousin. The cousin then leaves
Young Lester was suspicious of pretty much everything and he liked his life to be perfectly ordered. That all changed when cousin Clara arrived. The family isn't quite sure whose cousin she is, but if she's family then she, and her knitting basket, will be welcomed in their home. Now poor Lester's life will never be the same for Cousin Clara rapidly knitted him a sweater which, to be polite, he wore until it "accidentally" got ruined. Never fear, cousin Clara can knit up a new one in the blink o ...more
Amy Musser
Cousin Clara's cottage is consumed by crocodiles, so she come to live with Lester’s family. At first everything is fine, but then Cousin Clara begins knitting dreadful sweaters for Lester and he is forced to wear to school. As soon as Lester manages to rid himself of one sweater, another appears! What’s a boy to do? Great for a preschool audience.

Read More at Picture-Book-a-Day:
I suppose parents world round are teaching kids to be polite, and wear that awful, ugly sweater your aunt made for you!!

tamp down those feelings, don't express yourself honestly, but lie because her ego needs outweigh yours!

cockamamie bs! the sweaters are fugly and the kid clearly hates 'em, but wears them once then destroys them in some way to never, ever have to wear them again! .

clowns are involved. ugly sweaters.

good times
Autumn Dow
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters is such a quirky and oddly humorous book. Younger children can appreciate all the different ridiculous sweaters made by Cousin Clara and older children can have fun picking up on the subtle hints which tell a part of the story that isn't expressed in words. The pictures are delightful, the story is interesting and funny, and the book finishes with an unexpected ending!
Ages 3 and up

Lester's Aunt Clara comes to live with them after her house is eaten by a crocodile. Aunt Clara makes prim and neat Lester a new sweater, which is very dreadful, but he wears it to school anyway. After his bad day at school due to the sweater, the sweater meets an untimely end, as does all sweaters that Aunt Clara makes for Lester. One day Lester wears his sweater to a birthday party where his sweater is admired by the clowns. The clowns then go home with Lester and Aunt Clara's sw
Hysterical story because it is so relatable! Every child has been given at least one ghastly outfit from a beloved relative. (I have a photographic reminder of this when I look at my 6th grade year book *shudders.*) Why do these people insist on sharing such horrific gifts? Have they never heard of a gift card??

Poor Lester not only receives a dreadful sweater, the aunt who gave it to him (if she is even really his aunt) lives with him; so he is forced to wear it to school. Somehow the dreadful
A very quirky book. The opening scene was a bit in the spirit of James and the Giant Peach but the rest is very distinctly "lesterian". Lester is rather the odd child, with his lists and collections, maybe even on the autistic spectrum (and I think this transmits in the vocabulary used in the story, which certainly is peculiar and may render the book slightly less accessible to the younger crowd) but it certainly doesn't help when "cousin" Clara moves in and starts doting on him with her knitted ...more
Georgena Ellison
I would love to read this book to kids while wearing an ugly sweater myself. My school has a tradition of wearing "Ugly Christmas Sweaters" around the Holidays. The kids LOVE seeing what all of the teachers will wear. We could have the kids participate, too this year and read this book in December.
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K. G. Campbell is the author-illustrator of Lester’s Dreadful Sweaters. He was born in Kenya, raised in Scotland, and now lives in southern California.
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