Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn

4.4 12
by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen
     
 

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Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller, is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community.

With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new

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Overview

Extra Yarn, a Caldecott Honor Book, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winner, and a New York Times bestseller, is the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community.

With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic.

Extra Yarn is written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, who also won a Caldecott Medal for This Is Not My Hat.

Supports the Common Core State Standards.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Understated illustrations and prose seamlessly construct an enchanting and mysterious tale about a girl named Annabelle, who lives in a world “where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys.” After Annabelle finds a box filled with yarn of every color, she immediately sets out to knit sweaters for everyone she knows. Barnett’s (Mustache!) story is both fairy tale lean and slyly witty. No matter how many sweaters Annabelle knits, the box always has “extra yarn” for another project, until the entire town is covered with angled stitches in muted, variegated colors—people, animals, and buildings alike. (Fans of Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back may suspect that a few of the animals from that story have wandered into this one.) A villainous archduke offers to buy the box, but Annabelle refuses. He steals it, but finds it contains no yarn at all, and with the help of just a bit more magic, it finds its way back to Annabelle. Barnett wisely leaves the box’s magic a mystery, keeping the focus on Annabelle’s creativity, generosity, and determination. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Horn Book
"Klassen’s pacing, especially the mostly wordless sequence when the box floats back to Annabelle on a triangle of an iceberg, is impeccable. The final spread, all light and yarn-covered tree limbs, brings Barnett’s clever, quiet yarn full circle, to a little girl and a town, now colorful and happy."
Booklist
"Reading like a droll fairy tale, this Barnett-Klassen collaboration is both seamless and magical. The spare, elegant text and art are also infused with plenty of deadpan humor. Quirky and wonderful, this story quietly celebrates a child’s ingenuity and her ability to change the world around her."
Lane Smith
“There’s nothing to say but—perfect.”
Horn Book (starred review)
“Klassen’s pacing, especially the mostly wordless sequence when the box floats back to Annabelle on a triangle of an iceberg, is impeccable. The final spread, all light and yarn-covered tree limbs, brings Barnett’s clever, quiet yarn full circle, to a little girl and a town, now colorful and happy.”
Booklist (starred review)
“Reading like a droll fairy tale, this Barnett-Klassen collaboration is both seamless and magical. The spare, elegant text and art are also infused with plenty of deadpan humor. Quirky and wonderful, this story quietly celebrates a child’s ingenuity and her ability to change the world around her.”
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Amid white snow and black chimney soot, Annabelle finds an amazing box of yarn of many colors. When she has knitted herself a sweater, she still has more yarn, so she knits one for her dog and her friend. And still there is more. After causing a distraction in school, she knits sweaters for the whole class and the teacher. The miraculous box then yields enough yarn for sweaters for "everyone," even dogs, cats, and eventually all the buildings in town. People come to see this remarkable sight, including an archduke who wants to buy the box. But Annabelle will not sell, so the duke has it stolen. When he opens it in his castle, however, the furious duke finds it empty. He curses Annabelle, but she remains happy at the end. On the jacket are Annabelle and a few animals, all wearing knitted garments made up of magnified rows of knitting stitches. Even the letters of the title are covered with them. From the title page some meandering yarn leads us to the box and a watching dog. When the story begins, the illustrations are not detailed except for the knitted coverings, which also offer the only color. There is little additional scenery. Possible meanings to the charming tale remain with the reader. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—In a snow- and soot-covered town, Annabelle discovers a small black box filled with colorful yarn. She knits a sweater for herself, but there's still yarn left over. From the seemingly inexhaustible supply, she knits sweaters for her dog, a boy and his dog, her classmates, her mean teacher, her parents, and people in town. In an astounding feat of urban knitting, she covers the buildings in sweatery goodness, but the yarn does not run out. Disaster strikes when a mustachioed, piratical archduke arrives, demanding that the child sell him the magic box. When she declines, he steals it but does not benefit from his crime, as he finds it empty. In a fit of rage, the archduke curses Annabelle and flings the box into the sea. Happily, it finds its way back to her full of yarn again. Klassen's deadpan, stylized illustrations impeccably complement Barnett's quirky droll writing. Small details like a dog's sneer or sweater-covered mailboxes add to the subtle humor. The cheerful colors of the yarn contrast with the somber grays and blacks of the town. Give this one to fans of offbeat stories like Florence Heide's Princess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Story of a Girl Who Floated) (Random, 2009) or to young knitting enthusiasts.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, Chappaqua Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews
A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn. Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion. A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061953385
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
01/17/2012
Pages:
40
Sales rank:
46,184
Product dimensions:
8.76(w) x 10.32(h) x 0.40(d)
Lexile:
AD620L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Mac Barnett is the author of several picture books, including Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem, Guess Again!, and Oh No!: Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World. He also writes the Brixton Brothers series of mysteries. Mac is the founder of the Echo Park Time Travel Mart, a convenience store for time travelers, and serves on the board of 826LA, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center.

Jon Klassen grew up in Niagara Falls, Canada, and now lives in Los Angeles, California. He is the author and illustrator of I Want My Hat Back, as well as the illustrator of Cats’ Night Out by Caroline Stutson, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, and the other books in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series. He also created concept art for Coraline, the stop-motion animated film based on the book by Neil Gaiman.

Customer Reviews

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Extra Yarn 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is fabulous! The illustrations, the story, everything. It is a favorite of my four-year-old's and of those who get to read it to him several times a week. Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen are an amazing duo. 
DarrelWrites More than 1 year ago
At last, a beautiful, poetic children's book that weaves a subtle theme perfectly with superb illustrations. Where, oh where, are the great kid book authors of yesteryear who told lasting stories that stained our hearts and minds forever? Well, now we have at least one who is doing glorious work. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My Mom loved receiving this for Mother's Day. She recently took up knitting and she loves children's books so it was a perfect fit. I have read it to my children several times as well and they love it too!
kidzbkcrusader More than 1 year ago
One of the most enchanting and lovely picture books I have ever seen. Simply enchanting :)
book4children More than 1 year ago
Perhaps you have heard about this book before. Perhaps you haven't. If you are unfortunate enough to have never heard about it before today, then consider yourself lucky that you are reading this review. There are many picture books that I like, a few that I love, and every now and then one comes along that I absolutely, positively, MUST get a hard copy of. Extra Yarn is a must have for every child's library. This is not the kind of book that you can get by with checking out of the library (although that's good, too). Extra Yarn is the story of a girl that lives in a dirty, cold town. She finds a box of colorful yarn and starts to knit, but she never seems to run out of yarn. This is one of those books that I read and then thought, "Why aren't there more books like this?" It is a beautiful, entertaining fable that will delight children and adults of all ages. Stories like this don't come around very often. Honestly, if you were to ask me what my #1 pick in children's picture books is, this would be it. I highly recommend this book. There is a reason that it has so many 5 star reviews! The Artwork: I cannot say enough good about Jon Klassen and his beautiful illustrations. The art was simply outstanding. I just loved it. I don't know if the publisher could have paired up a better team than Barnett and Klassen.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ACRain More than 1 year ago
A delightful reader that has an interesting illustration style. Taking on the form of ink and paper cut outs the pictures offer another layer to the story as it is told with very little words but with large and interesting illustrations. While the plot might be a bit lacking the story does offer up a lesson that young readers can easily grasp. The idea that one little girl actions can do so much to change the way things are in her town is inspiring. Young readers will now be able to see how one person’s actions have dramatic and far reaching reactions. Not only does the story show how one person can enact change it also offers illusions to things like love, friendship, and charity. Things that we as people have an unlimited supply of, and can never run out of like the box of yarn. This tale is will truly inspire young readers and is a recommended read near Christmas time when so many are in need of charity and love.
alexusM More than 1 year ago
Great read! The pictures in this book are wonderful as well as the story behind it. At first it was quite hard to understand the dullness in the pictures, but after the little girl finds the yarn that's when the color appears. This is a great read for elementary level students.
LaineyBelle More than 1 year ago
Extra Yarn is a cute story from Mac Bennett about a little girl who makes sweaters in for an entire town. The pictures done by Jon Klassen show the lack of color in the little town until the little girl finds the endless box of yarn. With it she begins to bring color and warmth to the sooty town and even makes sweaters for the animals. This is one of my favorite picture books because of the images and the flow of the story from one scene to the next. I would recommend this story to all young readers.
jeanettemarquez More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this picture book! I loved everything about it. From the beginning to the end, I absolutely loved this book. This picture book was beyond interesting that it captured my attention right away and had me anxiously yearning to know what was going to happen next. This is a book that I think children would absolutely love because it is very unique and sweet. When Annabelle finds a box with never ending yarn placed in it, she starts coloring up the boring black and white town with all of her multi-colored yarn.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buttercup45 More than 1 year ago
This remarkable little story about an ordinary box of yarn and extraordinary little girl had me paying attention from the first page. The illustrations are so likable and Annabelle is a spitfire. She finds a box of yarn and right away she is entertained with the thought of knitting herself this colorful sweater. She realizes she has some yarn left and well she just knits her little heart out. You cannot help but root for her especially after she turns down the snooty archduke and all that money for her resourceful box of yarn. The moral of the story shines through when Annabelle is rewarded for her noble efforts and we all just want to give Annabelle a big hug. This is a great story for little ones and I think older elementary kids will like it too. It is charming, it is creative and it will knock your socks off but don't worry Annabelle will knit you some more!