Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn

Mac Barnett
Illustrator:  Jon Klassen 
Picture Book
For ages 5 to 7
HarperCollins, 2012   ISBN: 978-0061953385

It is a cold day in winter and the ground is covered with snow. Everything around Annabelle is snowy white or is black with soot. Then the little girl finds a box that is filled with colorful yarn. Annabelle knits a sweater for herself, and she knits a sweater for her dog Mars. Even after she has knitted these two garments there is some yarn left over.

Annabelle takes Mars for a walk and meets Nate, who is sitting on a wood pile. Nate makes fun of the sweaters Annabelle and Mars are wearing, and Annabelle tells him that he is “just jealous.” Though Nate insists that he is not jealous, it turns out that he is, and when Annabelle knits him and his dog sweaters, Nate is surprisingly happy.

Annabelle’s box of yarn still isn’t empty. When she goes to school wearing her new sweater her teacher, Mr. Norman, says that her sweater is distracting the students in class. Annabelle announces that she will make a sweater for everyone so that they will not have to “turn around” to look at the one colorful sweater in the room. Mr. Norman says that such a thing is “Impossible,” but it turns out that he is wrong. Annabelle is able to knit sweaters for all the children in the class and for Mr. Norman. The strange thing is that the box is still isn’t empty.

In this enchanting award winning book children will encounter a box of yarn that is clearly magical. They will marvel, and laugh, at all the things Annabelle knits, and they will also appreciate that part of the box’s magic is within Annabelle herself.

Children will enjoy seeing how Annabelle’s knitted creations bring color to a world that is mostly white, black, and shades of brown. What would it be like to live in a world where there was no color, a world where there was no one around to create beautiful, colorful things.