Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Jon Klassen
Summary (as on the publishing page): With a supply of yarn that never runs out, Annabelle knits for everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke decides he wants the yarn for himself.
*See additional information below
The Firefly Hook’s Review of Extra Yarn
Theme: The power of a giving and creative spirit.
Highs and Lows:
The theme in this charming story is both heard and seen as the children listen to the story and see a major visual shift occur – the color changes from black and white to a world covered in yarn. Annabelle, the heroin, finds a magical box filled with yarn of every color that never runs out… and she doesn’t keep it to herself. Her generous hands transform the town when she knits something for everyone and everything in it.
The climax has a fun twist which further reveals Annabelle’s character. However, after trekking with our heroin and cheering for her during the whole story, the ending lacks a clear conclusion for a very young audience.
Gush and Rant:
I loved this charming story. It exemplifies the power of a giving and creative spirit. A selfless and kind little girl with a useful skill is the perfect heroin for a children’s book. It is very fun to read aloud, and the children I’ve read it to enjoy it very much. As a crocheter and a lover of fiber arts in general, this is a very inspirational story to share with kids. It is a great example of how, when we learn a skill and share it with others, we can literally change the world around us. Anyone can be like Annabelle – a magic box isn’t necessary!
I was disappointed by the ending. The pace of the story is so excellent and then fizzles at the end when the text and illustrations are out of synch. The final sentence begins with the word “but” and then after three pages of illustrations, concludes rather weakly. When I read it aloud to children I talk (and we “ooo” and “ahh”) through each illustration at the end so it’s more clear.
Favorite Quote: “Annabelle made sweaters for things that didn’t even wear sweaters.”
Overall Grade: B
Additional information about Extra Yarn:
Published by Balzer + Bray
Hardcover: 40 pgs.
Watch the Extra Yarn book trailer
Awards: Caldecott Honor; Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; E.B. White Read-Aloud Award
Happy reading, everyone!