One thought on “Extra Yarn

  1. Seemi Aziz & Angeline Hoffman says:

    The book Extra Yarn is full of colors in the form of sweaters knit by the main character, Annabelle. She has a supply of yarn that never ends . . .
    The illustration on the first page of this book is done in different shades of brown. The drawing is simple — a village of houses, a little girl, a dog, and a box filled with yarn of every color. The page is plain and simple, but without color.
    Starting with the second illustration, the girl goes home and starts to knit herself a sweater and then she knits her dog a sweater. Annabelle notices she still has more yarn in her box. The sweaters she then knits are very colorful: red, orange, green, pink, yellow and blue. The colors capture the attention of readers to the girl and the dog’s sweater. Throughout the story we focus on the bright color of the sweaters that she has knitted for the boy [Nate] and his dog, her teacher, her classmates, her parents, the people who lived in the village and even the animals and things that didn’t wear sweaters. The author, Mac Barnett, has created a story portraying the generosity of the main character, Annabelle, and the magical box full of yarn that never ends. Then a villain steals the box of yarn and when the villain opens the box, the box is empty. He curses her to be unhappy for the rest of her life, but she remains happy nonetheless. This is a very colorful story.
    As a reader responding to this book about the illustrations, the colorful patterns of the sweaters were graphically designed, different and unique. It brought back memories of the time in my life when I learned how to knit and how I wanted to create more knitting projects — more and more because there is joy in being a creator utilizing two knitting needles and colorful yarn. It’s an awesome feeling. The writer and illustrator bring this out within the story and encouraged my own imagination as I responded and experienced those feelings again by reading this great book.
    The connection to the story was instantaneous for me. I have always respected the hard work that goes into knitting a sweater or an outer garment and the physical and psychological warmth it provides to the wearer and the creator. My mom knitted the most beautiful pieces and as I grew older I not only wore her creations but also learned how to knit from her. I remember her hands moving with lightening speed creating intricate patterns. She seldom looked down at the garment while knitting pieces for one and all around her. This book spoke not only of Annabelle’s generosity but also of my own mother. The villain’s presence complicates an otherwise boring story and gives it a depth that hooks the reader. I appreciated reading the unexpected twist.
    Barnett’s story is given life through Jon’s drawings and colors. I thought that the written and the visual narratives worked particularly well which may be due to the understanding the author and the illustrator have with each other. This is something that is missing when the publishers do not let the authors physically meet up with the illustrators. I am looking forward to the second book by this duo that is being released this fall titled, Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.

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