Sunday, February 21, 2016

Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen is an adorable picture book about a kind little girl who knits colorful, warm sweaters and wraps for people and things in her town. The story starts with an  illustration of a dark, snow-covered town that the author describes as "cold" and covered with "soot from chimneys". Annabelle, the main character, finds a small box of yarn. She knits herself a sweater, and then one for her dog, Mars. Afterwards, she still has extra yarn. Annabelle begins to sew for her neighbors, her family, her classmates and teacher, and the animals in her neighborhood. Two leafs of the book show the town still covered in snow, but now with colorful houses wearing sweaters. At one comical point, Annabelle is actually knitting a sweater for a pick-up truck. Later in the story, the evil archduke arrives to Annabelle's town, offering to pay a large sum of money for her ever-refilling box of yarn. She politely rejects his offer, leaving the archduke to steal the yarn box. However, once he steals the box, he realizes that it is empty. Enraged, the villian tosses the box into the ocean, shouting that the child will never be happy again. The story, nonetheless, ends on a happy note, with the box landing on Annabelle's shores, a smile on her face.

This book is wonderful for teaching about goodness and the power of a simple, small acts of kindness. It models how doing one nice thing can bring joy to others and encourages the recipient to keep giving; a lovely lesson for children to realize.

Extra Yarn is a quality picture book due to it's simple colors and lines that highlight the idea of the simple message. It also is quality literature due to its cute moments that make the reader laugh, like when Annabelle knits the pick-up truck's sweater, and also due to its empowering message.

This book would be wonderful for teaching students in grades PreK- 3 about kindness and following your passion. It's message is simple, yet powerful. It also emphasizes the power of children, especially young girls, and shows that even the smallest of people can make a big difference in the world around them. When Annabelle stands up to the archduke, she holds complete power and the reader feels pride for the little girl. She models strength and integrity even against the most intimidating figures. I also like that Annabelle's message is about warmth and giving to those around you without spending money or showing off-- she has a thoughtful hobby.

Extra Yarn is perfect for putting a smile on a child's face and reminding them to be compassionate, genuine citizens.

Annabelle busily converses with the archduke

No comments:

Post a Comment