Yarn Yarn: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett
ON A COLD AFTERNOON, IN A COLD LITTLE TOWN, WHERE EVERYWHERE YOU LOOKED WAS EITHER THE WHITE OF SNOW OR THE BLACK OF SOOT FROM CHIMNEYS, ANNABELLE FOUND A BOX FILLED WITH YARN OF EVERY COLOR.
There seems nothing else to do with her surprising find but knit, so Annabelle knits and purls herself a multicolored sweater. Pleased with her product, she also knits one for her dog Max.
BUT THERE WAS STILL MORE YARN.
In a world where everything is black or white, Annabelle and Max are sure to be noticed.
"YOU TWO LOOK RIDICULOUS," NATE LAUGHED.
Annabelle doesn't get mad, but she does get even, knitting up Nate (and his glowering dog) two natty sweaters.
At school the kids in her class can't stop whispering and twisting around to stare at her sweater. Her teacher Mr. Norman berates her for the distraction, so Annabelle obliges by knitting a woolly sweater for everyone, even her sheepish teacher.
AND ANNABELLE STILL HAD EXTRA YARN.
As Annabelle keeps on knitting, dressing the drab town's inhabitants and habitations with colorful coverings, the fame of her inexhaustible yarn box spreads afar, to the castle of an archduke, who sails to her shores to offer a millions for her miraculous yarn box. When Annabelle refuses to sell, the archduke has her mysterious box stolen in the dark of the night, sailing away with his prize.
But back in his seaside redoubt, the archduke opens the charmed box to find nothing but a pair of useless knitting needles. Foiled, he curses Annabelle with perpetual unhappiness and hurls the useless box from his tower window into the sea.
But it seems the magic box of yarn knows the way back to its true mistress, in Mac Barnett's and Jon Klassen's Extra Yarn (Balzer & Bray, 2012), a modern fairy tale with the theme that the power of art can be bestowed but never bought. Chosen as a 2013 Caldecott Honor Book for Jon Klassen's classically restrained illustrations which tell the tale with great charm, this yarn about yarn shows again why he took the Caldecott Medal this year for his wonderfully witty and ironically insightful This Is Not My Hat (see my review here). Mac Barnett is no slouch as an author either, and the two of them together can spin quite a yarn--without dropping a stitch.