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Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett

Extra Yarn (2012)

by Mac Barnett

Other authors: Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

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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.
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.

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?" ( )
  akgingerich | Feb 5, 2016 |
What's not to love about this quietly charming book about a girl who generously gives of her time and yarn to almost literally knit the townspeople together? The Archduke who lusts after her yarn just doesn't get it. ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
I thought this was a delightful book! It was a charming story about a girl who found a magic, never-ending box of yarn and knitted sweaters for every person, animal, and even building and tree in town. It is a sweet lesson one could use to illustrate the power and joy found in sharing the good things you have.
  meggienell | Jan 25, 2016 |
So different in tone from Chloe and the Lion, but also lovely. Love the appearance of Jon Kraschka's animal characters, too. ( )
  AmeliaHerring | Jan 22, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Mac Barnettprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Klassen, JonIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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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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