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Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

Extra Yarn (2012)

by Mac Barnett

Other authors: Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

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I thought this was a cute story. I liked how the yarn brought color to the boring town. ( )
  beanandboone | Mar 12, 2016 |
A brief summary:
Annabelle lives in a town where everything is either white with snow or black with soot until one day she finds a box filled with yarn of every color. After Annabelle knits herself a sweater, she finds that she has some extra yarn and decides to knit her dog, Mars a sweater too. Annabelle continues to make sweaters for people and animals, yet she always seems to have extra yarn. She continues to knit sweaters for everything, from cats to dogs to buildings that didn't even need sweaters. Soon, news about Annabelle and her box of never ending yarn began to spread and people from all around the world began to visit her, even an archduke who is willing to give her ten million dollars in exchange for the box of yarn. Annabelle refuses the archduke's offer, so he sends three robbers in the night to break into her house. After the robbers retrieve the box, the archduke opens it to find that the yarn is gone and throws the box out of his window, shouting a curse of unhappiness upon Annabelle. The box floats on a piece of ice all the way to a pond where Annabelle finds it and she quickly goes back to happily knitting sweaters for everything she can lay her hands on.

My personal reaction:
The contrast between the colorful yarn and the dreary setting complements the contrast between the villainous archduke's greed and Annabelle's genuine happiness and creativity. I enjoy how the author leaves a bit of mystery as to where the yarn goes when the archduke steals the box as it puts more emphasis on Annabelle's creative use of the yarn, not the yarn itself.

A couple of uses:
- Have students create artwork that mimics the contrast of light and dark that is seen with Jon Klassen's illustrations.
- In the beginning of her knitting frenzy, Annabelle is confronted by a boy named Nate who tries to bully her. Instead of letting the boy get to her, she recognizes that his rude words are only because he is jealous and makes him a sweater anyway. Use this moment in the story as a gateway into discussing the reasons why people bully each other.

This book fits under the genre of fantasy as it features a magical box that never runs out of yarn, something that is not of the real world.

appears to be water color, ink, and digital editing ( )
  Lucymae | Mar 7, 2016 |
I enjoyed the book "Extra Yarn' by Mac Barnett. I believe that the illustrations and the characters are the two biggest reasons I liked the book. "Extra Yarn" is a Caldecott Honor Winner and I think that this shows. The artistic technique used in the illustrations enhances the mood of the book. Additionally, I enjoy that one could only look at the pictures and mostly figure out what the book is about. Additionally, I enjoy the characters found in this book. The main character Annabelle reaches out to all of the unique humans and animals in her town to ask if they want a sweater. Most people reply yes, as it is cold and snowy outside. However, I enjoy that Mr. Crabtree received a hat instead of a sweater, because he does not like wearing sweaters or long pants. The message of this book is that compassion for others and sharing is important. If one shares with their friends they will be much richer than one that just takes for themselves.
  may_tay_kay | Feb 22, 2016 |
In the middle of a cold winter, a little girl named Annabelle found a box filled with colorful yarn. She decided to knit a sweater for herself. She realized she still had extra yarn. So she knit a sweater for her dog, and still had more yarn. A young boy got jealous of her sweater, so she knit him one, and one for his dog too. With extra yarn always left over, she knit sweaters for all of her classmates, her teacher, her family, her neighbors, her doctor, and all the townspeople. She knit a hat for the man who never wore sweaters. She made sweaters for all the animals, and for things that don't wear sweaters, like houses and cars. People began to travel from all over the world to see her town of sweaters. An archduke sailed across the seas to meet her, and ask to buy her box of yarn that never ran out. Annabelle refused, so the archduke sent robbers to her house to steal the box. He sailed all the way home and opened the box only to discover that there was nothing inside. He threw the box into the sea and cursed Annabelle to a lifetime of unhappiness. The box floated its way back to Annabelle, and she began knitting again, unaffected by the curse.

Personal Reaction:
This is a very cute story. I love that it shows that, when you have plentiful amounts of something, it's good to share that wealth with others. It also shows, through the symbolic endless yarn, that generosity, talent, and creativity are all things that come from you. It shows the impact it can have on others, but also it shows that those are things that no one can take away from you.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Have a craft day! Whatever craft activity is suitable for the age group, but also something that they can easily make plenty of. Encourage them to share their creations with others.
2. Have them choose positive aspects of themselves that never run out.
3. Have them decorate boxes and write a story about what they'd like to find an endless supply of inside. ( )
  ClaudiaNormand | Feb 9, 2016 |
A little girl named Annabelle find a mysterious box of yarn amidst all the snow covering her quiet town. She knits herself a sweater, but has extra yarn, so she knits a sweater for her dog as well. Yet again, she has extra yarn! She continues knitting yarn for everyone in her town, even inanimate objects, such as houses, trucks, and mailboxes, and still, doesn't run out of yarn. A archduke tries to buy the yarn, but ends up stealing the box of yarn. Much to his dismay, the box is empty, so he curses the girl a life of unhappiness, but the curse never comes true.

I love the symmetry throughout the text, as the author continually writes, "Annabelle still had extra yarn" every time she knits something new. This adds textual uniqueness to the story. The watercolor illustrations are beautifully done. They start out gray and white, and gradually, more color is added when Annabelle makes more sweaters with her colorful yarn. It shows a progression of the characters and the town as Annabelle knits joy into her town.

MEDIA: watercolor

GENRE: Fantasy Fiction Picture Book
This book is classified as fantasy because the plot revolves around a mysterious and magical box of yarn that never runs out.

-Students could learn how to "french knit" to go along with the theme of knitting! I learned how to french knit in elementary school and loved it.
-Ask students, "why do you think it doesn't run out?" and have the explore their own fantasy writing. "Are they certain components in your fantasy stories that are left mysterious and what effect does that have on the story?"

AGE APPROPRIATENESS: first grade, second grade, third grade, and possibly fourth grade if I want to dive deeper into the theme of bullying ( )
  akgingerich | Feb 5, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mac Barnettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klassen, JonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061953385, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Kids, January 2012: A monochrome town gets a change of color and attitude with the help of a box of yarn and a girl named Annabelle. From the seemingly endless box of Extra Yarn Annabelle knits clothing for everyone around her, tempering the ill-tempered, and creating beautifully patterned warmth for people, animals, and objects, alike. When a greedy clothes-loving archduke tries to buy--then steal--the box for himself, he discovers that ill-gotten gains bear no fruit--or in this case, yarn. Mac Barnett’s elegant and clever story is complemented by Jon Klassen’s illustrations, and fans of I Want My Hat Back will enjoy the familiar faces that show up in this picture book about the magical properties of kindness and generosity.--Seira Wilson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:03 -0400)

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.

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