An 11-year-old recently went viral for a skill you don’t often associate with boys in middle school: crocheting. And now Jonah Larson of La Cross, Wisconsin, has inked a deal to produce his first book, “Hello, Crochet Friends! Making Art, Being Mindful, Giving Back: Do What Makes You Happy.”
The book will be co-authored by Larson’s mother, with images from Erin Harris. It’ll be the first release from KWiL Publishing’s Rock Star Kids imprint, a collection of picture book autobiographies featuring exceptional kids.
Jonah’s Instagram profile says that he taught himself to crochet from YouTube videos at age 5.
“Crocheting makes me happy and relaxed,” he wrote.
He elaborates on a GoFundMe page he set up for the Ethiopian orphanage where he was adopted: “One day, I was handed a bag of crochet supplies… This seemingly small gift would change my path forever.”
Six years later, the sixth-grader has developed a business, Jonah’s Hands, and a social media following. The young crochet prodigy has about 121,000 followers on Instagram and 20,000 on YouTube, who regularly marvel at Jonah’s colorful and complex art. He sells some of his goods, and sends a portion of the proceeds to the orphanage where he spent his early days.
Jonah went viral after the local paper, the La Crosse Tribune, told his story in January. His rise to fame has been dizzyingly fast — it’s only been a little over a month since that article appeared. Since then, his appearance schedule has included “Good Morning America” and many other national outlets.
But this boy isn’t all about the fame. For him, crocheting is a passion and a joy. An announcement for the upcoming book details how his fifth-grade teacher invited him to bring his crocheting to school as a way of keeping him out of trouble.
“I quickly noticed something I didn’t expect or understand,” he said. “I didn’t feel jumpy or jittery. I didn’t feel like I needed to do something to get attention. My mind was quiet, calm, and peaceful.”