Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lester's Dreadful Sweaters” as Want to Read:
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lester's Dreadful Sweaters

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  742 Ratings  ·  186 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lester's Dreadful Sweaters, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lester's Dreadful Sweaters

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,080)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Oct 21, 2012 Betsy rated it it was amazing
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
Lisa Vegan
Aug 17, 2013 Lisa Vegan rated it really liked it
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
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
Dec 27, 2012 Hannah rated it it was amazing
“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
Jul 08, 2013 Melody rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 07, 2012 Lorna rated it liked it
Shelves: picturebooks
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.
Jun 24, 2015 Lindsi rated it really liked it
This is a book about a boy named Lester, whose Cousin Clara comes to stay with them. She likes to knit and knits Lester sweater after sweater after sweater. They aren’t simple sweaters either. They are crazy, ghastly, dreadful sweaters. Lester’s parents make him wear them to school. Every time he wears one it mysteriously disappears, but Cousin Clara always has more sweaters ready for him. Lester can’t stand the sweaters. Eventually he goes to a birthday party (in one of Clara’s sweaters) that h ...more
Michelle McBeth
Aug 06, 2014 Michelle McBeth rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2014 Chris Go rated it it was amazing
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 it was amazing
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
Oct 17, 2012 Eloise rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Poor, poor Lester, whose Aunt Clara knits dreadful sweaters with lightning-fast speed. Delightful illustrations.
Sep 13, 2012 kate rated it it was amazing
If Edward Gorey & Polly Horvath had a literary love child, this would be it. - Kirkus Reviews.
Jamie Davis
Jan 08, 2015 Jamie Davis rated it it was amazing
What a fun book! It is filled with rich vocabulary and the most hideous sweaters one has ever seen. Lester's world is overturned when Cousin Clara comes to live with his family after her cottage is consumed by a crocodile. Cousin Clara loves to knit and makes completely embarrassing creations for Lester to wear to school every day. Yet somehow, each sweater meets a sad end. Finally the day of a party for a girl with the unfortunate name Enid Measles arrives and Lester finds a suitable solution t ...more
May 08, 2013 Erin rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 19, 2015 Laura rated it really liked it

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
Dec 05, 2012 Jess rated it it was amazing
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
May 13, 2015 Marsha rated it it was ok
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
Apr 05, 2013 Maureen rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
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
Mar 06, 2013 S Farneth rated it really liked it
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
Oct 03, 2013 Katie Fleming rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ch-02-award
"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
Sep 28, 2013 babyhippoface rated it it was amazing
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
Jim Erekson
Jan 21, 2016 Jim Erekson rated it really liked it
Shelves: comedy, picturebooks, dark
This was great! It reminded me of Jim Gaffigan's routine about being given clothes as a gift: "Not even close." Near the center of the book, there's a fantastic illustration with Lester caught by his family "dismembering" a pile of gift sweaters, brandishing a pair of scissors while finishing off a red sweater. It looks like a crime scene! But then Aunt Clara holds up one more... I was amazed Campbell found a resolution for this one that kind of worked, and wasn't overly saccharine.
Jan 13, 2014 Ashleyd rated it liked it
Shelves: tx-bba
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
Apr 06, 2013 Carol rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 27, 2015 MaryAnn rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this story more because of the cover illustration of the hapless Lester.

But the story struck me as wrong. Who is this cousin who no one really knows who she is related to who moves in with Lester and his family.

And then she continues to relentlessly produce these dreadful sweaters despite Lester's equally relentless, loss and destruction of her "gifts".

Then the real kicker: Clowns save the day. (Ever since Junie B. Jones; I'm not big on clowns.)

Maybe this is a story about what
Amy Forrester
Mar 07, 2014 Amy Forrester rated it it was amazing
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:
Apr 08, 2014 Marjorie rated it really liked it
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
Aug 11, 2015 Jenark rated it it was amazing
Lester's Dreadful Sweaters is a comical book with a struggle kids with crafty relatives sometimes face... receiving a dreadful hand crafted item you must wear. Thankfully for Lester, he does come up with a great plan for the sweaters that leave them both used and loved. My 8 year old daughter and I enjoyed reading this story which has fun illustrations.

*This book was given to me by Net Galley for an honest review.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 35 36 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Jangles: A Big Fish Story
  • Monsieur Marceau: Actor Without Words
  • Homer
  • The Insomniacs
  • Little Bird
  • Red Knit Cap Girl
  • Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom
  • Oliver
  • Emily's Blue Period
  • Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic
  • Barnum's Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World
  • Tea Party Rules
  • Boot & Shoe
  • Zorro Gets an Outfit
  • The Obstinate Pen
  • Looking at Lincoln
  • The Quiet Place
  • The Black Rabbit
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.
More about K.G. Campbell...

Share This Book