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Extra Yarn Hardcover – January 17, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
The illustrations in this book are by Jon Klassen. He has a very distinct style. He actually just wrote and illustrated a book, I Want My Hat Back, where the main character is a bear. The book is now a Theodore Seuss Geisel honor book and the bear makes a wonderful appearance in this book.
When Annabelle finds a box filled with multicolored yarn, she does what you might expect - she knits a sweater. But there is extra yarn, so she knits sweaters for others - classmates and teachers and even animals. Still: more yarn. She begins to cover her entire cold, drab town in rainbow knitwear - including buildings and trees. The change is dramatic. Before long, an archduke arrives and offers Annabelle riches in exchange for the box. When she refuses, the archduke has it stolen. But it is for naught - he finds the box empty and angrily tosses it in the sea, where it eventually returns to Annabelle.
The conclusion will have kids asking the question - why was the box empty for the archduke? Camp #1 will say "well, the yarn just happened to run out", while Camp #2 will likely infer that the box was empty because it needs Annabelle for the magic to happen. Count me a member of the latter group.
Some subtle humor comes into play, particularly when Annabelle begins knitting for the benefit of inanimate objects, covering mailboxes, houses, and pickup trucks in sweaters. This sort of absurdity fits with Barnett and Klassen's previous work.
The ink, gouache, and digital illustrations (which bring to mind Alice and Martin Provensen's work in Caldecott-winner A Glorious Flight) are understated and gorgeous.Read more ›
For heaven's sake, it's a kids' book about yarn bombing. Need I really say more?
I love the physical experience of reading Extra Yarn aloud to my son. The sentences are strong, as is the rhythm. It is a delight to read. The illustrations are also lovely. While the yarn of every color plays a central role, the color is actually quite subtle.
The story does get a bit dark toward the end, which was a little surprising, but is still appropriate for young children.
I am not a knitter, but still thoroughly enjoy this book. My two-year-old son loves it and has asked to read it nearly every night since we got it.
The book reads like a fairy tale. There are the good people and the evil ones. Good prevails and this is a wonderful character study for children ages 4-8. It is also a wonderful ode to yarn and knitting that will charm every knitter who reads it.
However, I purchased it for a very young 3-year-old from a knitting family and think I'll need to save it until she is a little older to give as a gift.
My two worries:
1. The archbishop sends three robbers into Annabelle's house to take the yarn while she is sleeping.
2. When he finds the yarn box empty, the archbishop curses Annabelle: "Little girl, I curse you with my family's curse! You'll never be happy again!"
While these are classical fairytale elements and not especially frightening in the context of this book, it should be noted that Annabelle's home, town, and school are not a fairy tale setting - they're modern. Very young children who are still figuring out fantasy and reality do well with "bad guys" in castles, on pirate ships, and in other settings that make it clear that it is "not here". This story could create some anxiety for a very young child about robbers coming to their home in the night.
As for the curse, it just didn't seem like something I'd introduce to a toddler or very young, sensitive preschooler.
Don't get me wrong - I love the book! I think it is best suited for ages 3 1/2 - 6, with perhaps a "word to the wise" given to parents of children who are worriers, especially at bedtime. 4 stars for the artwork, enjoyable storyline, and good "conversation starter" of an ending. It would have been 5 stars if those two pages were worded in an ever-so-slightly different manner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great book about a little girl who in her own quiet but strong way changes the world around her. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Ingrid Holmes
Mac Barnett does it again! Such a good story, love the repetition and the unexpected character the illustrations bring to the story.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
such a cute and beautiful book, the perfect gift for my little niece!Published 1 month ago by Ellie
I love this book. The story and the illustrations are amazing. The run on sentences bug me a little as a parent, but my kids don't care.Published 1 month ago by Me
What a great find, not many stories to read to my Pre-K class that begin with the letter Y. We made "yarn art!"Published 2 months ago by Doris D. Ness
Fantastic story. My girls and I love the tale and the drawings are magical as well. We will cherish reading this book for many years.Published 3 months ago by Melissa