Annabelle finds a box filled with colorful yarn and knits herself a sweater. With the yarn she has leftover, she knits a sweater for her dog. "But there was still extra yarn." So Annabelle knits sweaters for her neighbors, her parents, her friends, and her teacher. When the yarn doesn't run out, she dresses up her dreary town by knitting sweaters for houses and trucks. Of course, this special box of yarn draws attention from around the world, and soon an evil archduke who is determined to get the box for himself creates a problem for Annabelle.
Extra Yarn is fun to read to kids who join in repeating "extra yarn" once they catch on to the magic of the box. Annabelle's spunky voice is consistently cheerful--a perfect fit for someone who is brightening her town. When at the story's resolution, the pictures tell the story, the spare text allows readers' imaginations to fill in the details. I love it when a story doesn't say too much!
Rainbows of knit sweaters stand out against the black and white of Annabelle's "cold little town." I'm hoping this one makes the Caldecott list this year. (And yes, I realize she is holding her knitting needles wrong, and it doesn't really bug me.)
You can read more about how the author and illustrator worked together and how Jon Klassen made the pictures here.
And if you haven't seen it yet, take a look inside.
by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Jon Klassen
published by Balzer + Bray