Less a story than a catalog of images depicting knit toy characters in various scenarios, this Australian picture book unravels.
Rather than depicting her characters in watercolors or drawn renderings, Goss stages photographs of her knitted dog creations. Stella is costumed in the titular tutu, and Barry wears a cardigan, hat, trousers and other warm layers. Inevitably, Stella is too cold in her tutu when they go outside to play, and she cozies up inside of Barry’s cardigan with him. Barry is ever patient, despite Stella’s rather bratty comments leading up to this scene. Barry and Stella then contort their close bodies into positions that make them think of elephants. While some of the photographs of the cuddly, cuddling toys are unquestionably sweet, there just isn’t much to, well, knit the story together as they pretend to be Indian, African and circus elephants. The dogs end up going inside to have a snack, and closing endpapers show them going to sleep. That’s it.
Too cold for a tutu and not much of a yarn, this title misses the mark. (Picture book. 3-5)