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Review of Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn Extra Yarn
by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen
Primary     Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins     40 pp.
1/12     978-0-06-195338-5     $16.99     g

When young Annabelle finds a small box containing yarn of every color, she does what any self-respecting knitter would do: she knits herself a sweater. Then she knits a sweater for her dog. Improbably, there’s yarn left over, so she knits colorful garments for everyone in her snowy, sooty, colorless town. Even Mr. Crabtree, “who never wore sweaters or even long pants, and who would stand in his shorts with the snow up to his knees,” receives a handknit gift: a hat with a pompom. Houses and buildings, too, are soon covered in natty sweaters, and fans of illustrator Klassen will smile to see critters strongly resembling the bear and rabbit from I Want My Hat Back (rev. 11/11) clad in variegated yarn cozies. When Annabelle, ever content to click-click away, refuses an archduke’s offer of millions for the box and its never-ending yarn, he steals it. Turns out the magic lies elsewhere (perhaps in the hands and heart of a little girl?), and all is made right. Klassen’s brown ink and digitally created illustrations pair nicely with the translucent, lightly inked knitwear. His 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.

Robin Smith About Robin Smith

Robin Smith is a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Tennessee. She is a reviewer for Kirkus and The Horn Book Magazine and has served on multiple award committees.

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