Ten Read-aloud Books that Teach Kids About Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing

Teaching kids to weave isn't just about potholders.

Yes, potholders are lots of fun to make, but weaving goes way beyond that. 

Here's ten read-aloud books that will make your kids want to weave something beautiful with the added benefit of saving our world.

Weaving does that.

The Goat in the rug kids learn about navajo weaving

This is my stash of kids books that teach how wool is processed

- from sheep to coat, rhyming books, a legend from Peru, and books that are just plain old fun. Who can resist a lamby or a llama?

Pelle's New Suit

By Elsa Beskov

This sweet little book was written in 1912, and it's still in print. I think I got my copy about 30 years ago... 

It's about a little Swedish boy who shears his lamb and takes you through all the steps and people needed to make Pelle a new suit. 


Pelle's New Suit


Click here to see it on Amazon.

You can watch it being read on YouTube.

 How does a big weaving loom work?

Click here to watch me weave on my big floor loom.

rag weaving rolled from a floor loom

Charlie Needs a Cloak

By Tomi dePaola

Tomi dePaola is on of my favorite children's book authors. I love his simple, fun pictures! 

Like Pelle's New Suit, this book also teaches the process of turning wool into clothing, but this time Charlie does all the work- with "help" from his sheepy friends.



Click here to see it on Amazon

Here's an animated version from YouTube. it's a little fuzzy, but fun to watch!

Want to learn more about dyeing yarn?

A good place to start is right in your kitchen, click here to learn how to dye yarn with tea.

Haircuts for Little Lambs

By Tomi dePaola

Don't you hate it when you put away your warm winter clothes - then the cold weather returns? Well that's what happens to the Woolsey's. They get their spring  haircuts a little too soon. But Granny's knitting prowess saves the day. 

My version is called Snip, Snip, Little Lambs. It seems to have had a few name changes throughout the years, but no matter what the title, it's still the cutest little book!


Haircuts for Little Lambs


Click here to see it on Amazon.


You can get started weaving today!

You don't even need a loom because I'll show you how to make one from a book. 

Click here to learn how to turn a book into a loom.

turn a book into a loom

Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep

By Teri Sloat

Illustrated by Nadine Bernard Westcott

Another book about the process of sheep to clothing - you can never have enough if you ask me. This is a rhyming book and lots of fun to read aloud. 

All of Farmer Brown's friend shelp him out, but the sheep want their wool back - so he gives it to him. Like Granny Woolsey, Farmer Brown is one fast knitter.

It's out of print and the last I looked it was about $165 on Amazon. But if you click the link hopefuly you'll see a few used ones for sale.

I remember I got mine from our school librarian  - she knew I loved wool and weaving. Now I'll never give it away! (I love my books and I'm not a minimalist.)


Farmer Brown Shears His Sheep Book Review


Click here to see it on Amazon.

 Watch it on YouTube

The Goat in the Rug

By Charles L. Blood and Martin Link

Illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker

 I've been reading this book to kids as long as I've been reading Charlie Needs a Cloak - both books explain the preparation and process of weaving, but this one tells how a Navajo weaver creates her handwoven rug. And like Charlie, Glenmae's goat watches - and gets in the way. She shears Geradine the goat, prepares the yarn, collects the dye (well, at least she tries to, Geraldine messes that up a bit), then weaves the rug.

It's a perfect book to read to kids who are weaving on a frame loom because it show what can be done on a similar loom, only larger.

The Goat in the Rug

See it on Amazon.

Watch it on YouTube.

A New Coat for Anna

By Harriet Ziefert

Illustrated by Anita Lobel

I especially like this book because it shows what life was like in Europe right after World War II. The lovely illustrations by Anita Lobel bring reality to life in a soft and easy way. 

Anna needs a new coat, but there is no money, and so little of anything. Her mother barters to pay for each step needed to get the wool from Anna's sheep made into a beautiful coat. 

I've been a fan of Arnold Lobel all of my life, he wrote the Frog and Toad series. It was interesting to find out that Anita Lobel was his wife, and they both went through World War II in Europe. 

This is what I love about weaving! It binds cultures and eras - we still make coats out of wool - and we can still do it ourselves, just like in these books.


A New Coat for Anna


Click to see it on Amazon.

Watch it on YouTube

Abuela's Weave

By Omar S. Castaneda

Illustrated by Enrique O. Sanchez

Esperanza and her grandmother share a love of weaving, and we're taken on their journey to sell their weaving in the big city market. It's a long bus ride and hard work.

This a good book to show kids the work and artistry that goes into weaving on a backstrap loom - and how lucky we are to be able to purchase the clothing and textiles from fair trade sellers. 

Click here to find out more about purchasing handwovens through fair trade.


Abuela's Weave book review


Click to see it on Amazon.

Watch it on YouTube.


 Maria had a Little Llama

By Angela Dominguez

 If your really tired and it's storytime, this is the perfect book! 

It's pretty much the same little poem as Mary had a Little Lamb, but this Mary is a Maria and she has a little llama.

Angela Dominguez brings the culture of the Andes to us with her lively, colorful illustrations. And for extra fun, the story is told in Spanish as well as English on each page.


Maria Had a Little Lama Book


 Click here to see it on Amazon.

 Watch Angela Dominguez read it on YouTube.

Rainbow Weaver 

By Linda Elovitz Marshall

Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Children can learn so much from this book! Backstrap weaving, the colorful clothing woven by the people of the rural Guatemalan Highlands, how they must pay for their children to attend school, and a bit of recycling too. 

 Like Maria had a Little Llama - it's billingual. Each page can be read in English and Spanish.

I've found two sources that have lots more guidance for teaching with this book:

Lee Low Books - You can download free printable coloring pages and paper dolls created by illustrator Elisa Chavarri.

Social Justice Books - You'll find suggestions for more books to read about Central America and rural makers around the world.

Prices can change, but as I write this the book is $39.95 on Amazon and $19.95 on Barnes and Noble. So I've made the link go to Barnes and Noble. Of course, you can always ask for it at your local library!

Rainbow Weaver Book Review

 See it on Barnes and Noble. 

Watch it on YouTube.

The Llama's Secret

Written and adapted by Argentina Palacios

Illustrated by Charles Reasoner

I love how folklore links throughout cultures- this Peruvian legend is reminiscent of Noah's Ark. The Llama is wise and helps save those who will listen from a great flood. I also like the ending when it says that the people of the Andes mountains adorn their llamas with little bells and ribbons to say thank you for saving their ancestors. 

book cover the llama's secret
Watch it on YouTube - A very creative librarian! 

What kind of loom should you start with?

I love my collection of books because they show kids different kinds of looms - but what loom is best to start with?

If you're on a budget, go here to learn how to make a book from a loom.

I've got a couple of looms that are good for kids to start weaving.

The Lucy Loom is my favorite for teaching young kids to weave because the weaving goes a lot faster. 



Kids can learn on the Annie Loom too, and it's a little bigger and a good choice for kids 10 and up.  Notice how the threads are strung closer together - that makes for finer weaving. 

small wood weaving loom