Extra Yarn

by Mac Barnett

Other authorsJon Klassen (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2012

Call number



Balzer Bray (2012), Edition: Illustrated, 40 pages


With a supply of yarn that never runs out, Annabelle knits for everyone and everything in town until an evil archduke decides he wants the yarn for himself.

User reviews

LibraryThing member yarmando
A box seems to provide Annabelle with endless yarn for her sweaters. But a greedy archduke has set his sites on this miraculous box.

Why I picked it up: Julie recommended it.

Why I finished it: Short fable. And I liked the illustrations.

I'd give it to: All my knitting friends.
LibraryThing member carolcavedon
The first book I chose to read is called “Extra Yarn” by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen. I like the illustrations a lot, specially the play between black/white and the colors of the rainbow brought by the box of yarn; it offers a great contrast. The content of the story is also
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wonderful and give opportunity for a teacher to explore many possibilities like: what can we do to change the world around us?, how to react to people that want your belongins (envy/jealousy), how to be a good person, ect… This is one more book that is going to my “To buy” list.
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LibraryThing member emtimmins
Oh, I found this accidentally because I was searching out Caldecott honor books. It is just a delight and reminiscent of "Something from Nothing" but also could be paired quite successfully with "The Three Billy Goats Fluff" by Rachael Mortimer.
LibraryThing member SarahLinfield
This is a book about a girl who discovers a box of yarn in her black and white world. She starts making a sweater for herself, then for her dog. When she goes to school the students all stare at her because she's the only one wearing something of color, so the teacher said that she was being too
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distracting. So she made sweaters for everyone in the classroom. She made covers for about everything she came across with, soon everything in her world was covered. Then a man asks to buy this magical box of endless yarn and she says no even after an offer of a million dollars. He ends up stealing it, but it didn't work for him; there was no yarn so he throws it into the ocean and it finds its way back to her. She continues to create beauty in the world. This can show students how much of a difference they can make. Also that money can't buy everything.
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LibraryThing member demmiee
Annabelle lives in a town “where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys.” She one day comes upon a box of magical yarn, which she uses to spread color and joy to her neighborhood. The beautiful illustrations allow readers to witness this
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extraordinary color transformation in the book as colors go from gray and dreary to colorful. The true moral to the story comes toward the end of the book, the magic yarn is stolen by an evil archduke. However, only those with a big heart wanting to share are able to reap the benefits of this magical box of yarn.
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LibraryThing member YMcMillion
This was a great book about someone finding happiness out of something the never thought they could. I really love this book and would read it to my students to show that they can do stuff for others that does not take much effort.
LibraryThing member KatherineC032
A sweet story about changing a dreary place one colorful piece at a time. Annabelle lives in a cold,dismal where everything is grey. She finds a box of colorful yarn and knits herself a sweater. When she finishes, there is still more yarn, so she knits a sweater for her dog, for a bully and his
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dog. Annabelle's box of yarn never empties and soon everyone has a colorful sweater. This attracts the attention of an archduke, who visits and asks Annabelle to buy the box of yarn. She will not sell it, so at night, three robbers hired by the archduke steal the yarn box from Annabelle. When he arrives home the box is empty!
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LibraryThing member trancon
This was a cute story of a little girl who got a mysterious box of never-ending yarn. She ended up making sweaters for everyone and everything in the town.
LibraryThing member kredlove
The moral that money can’t buy you happiness becomes illuminated through this story. I found it very interesting that while the duke had extreme wealth there was no color in his life, which was articulated visually. Lovely story.
LibraryThing member dukefan86
I'm hesitant to give 5 stars to books, but this one charmed the socks off of me! Wow. This story about Annabelle and her generous spirit, which comes out through her knitting, is so sweet, but so simple that it's not syrupy. It's just so adorable, it makes me want to learn to knit even more! Love
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the illustrations in this one, too. Bravo!

[Speaking of knitting, RIP cousin Papatya, a talented knitter and generous spirit who passed away a week ago today. This one's for you. I bet you would've enjoyed this book too!]
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LibraryThing member Pferdina
Adorable little picture book about Annabelle and the mysterious box of yarn she discovered.
LibraryThing member shazam79
good story, but not great for storytime, pictures are not very bright
LibraryThing member claireforhan
I loved this story, and the illustrations. The majority of the illustrations are black, brown and gray, until Annabelle starts knitting colorful sweaters for everything. Her never ending box of yarn transforms the gloomy town into a colorful, happy place. I really enjoyed how the texture of a knit
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sweater was conveyed in the illustrations.

Summary: Annabelle finds a box of never ending yarn, and knits everything in her town a sweater- even houses. An Archduke tries to buy the yarn off her, but she won't sell it, so he steals it. However, there is no yarn in the box and he throws it out to see, and it finds its way back to Annabelle so she continues to knit.

Moral of the Story: Money can't buy you happiness, and good things come to those who share and spread happiness to others. A small deed- such as knitting sweaters- can really brighten up the lives of those around you.
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LibraryThing member Kaihills
The theme of this book is that kindness and creativity can change the world. Anabelle's world is sad and gray until she decides to brighten it up with her knitting. Another theme of this book is that ill-gotten gains do not profit. The magic does not work for the greedy archduke because his
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intentions are selfish. This book could be used in the classroom to help students brainstorm small ways in which they might change the world for the better.
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LibraryThing member jennycheckers
Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen (2012) is a Caldecott Honor book, winner of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, and is a New York Times bestseller. It tells the story of how a young girl and her box of magical yarn brings a community together. The illustrations get
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more colorful as the town grows more connected, and they make you fall in love this clever and thoughtful girl.

In the classroom, I would use this to teach metaphor in illustrations -- Klassen shows how the townspeople are connected by "connecting" them with a piece of the colorful yarn. Also, it could be used in a unit about folklore. And, it would be a fun book to use to talk about conjunctions "and" & "but" because the author starts many of his sentences with them, and kids can decide about the effectiveness of his choice. Grades 2-5.
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LibraryThing member akmargie
Wonderful illustrations with a simple but fantastic story. Love the details and texture of the illustrations.
LibraryThing member JenJ.
With very deadpan humor, this isn't going to appeal universally, but I definitely found it to be fun. There's a folkloric aspect to the text with the repetition of the knitting and the box of yarn only working for those with appropriate motives. The art is very typical of Klassen (in fact some
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familiar characters pop up), but I'm particularly impressed with the soot effect. I think I like that the soot doesn't go away at the end just because the town has been brightened up by Annabelle's sweaters. I also found the choices for when and which sweaters would stay connected by a thread to be thought provoking. I don't have a good guess for how this might work in preschool storytime. My inclination is that it would really work best for an older audience than preschool (K-2nd maybe?), but I would love to hear from someone who's tried it with the young ones with success.
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LibraryThing member katie
A creative cumulative tale, a colorful example of a kind of Zeno's paradox or the miracle of the loaves and fishes -- where it seems impossible, but there's always something left over and it's always enough. In this case it's Annabelle's box of yarn which allows her to spread warmth via sweaters in
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a cold little town on a cold afternoon. It's also an emotional warmth -- the generosity of a home-made gift. In the beginning of the book Nate's jealousy and ridicule of Annabelle is overcome by a sweater. When the remarkable girl and her infinite knitting eventually become famous, a greedy archduke (fond of clothing) attempts to buy the box. Annabelle steadfastly refuses. His subsequent midnight theft of the magic box is bested by the box itself -- which proves to be empty in his hands. And his curse on Annabelle and her future happiness, as he throws the box out the window into the sea, is reversed by it simply floating back to her. We don't actually see Annabelle opening the box at the end, so it is left to the reader to decide if the box is really empty or not. Dogs and cats are sprinkled throughout - all in colorful sweaters, of course.

The brown blockcuts on the homemade-looking (scratchy) sepia paper backgrounds are slowly stamped with the warmth of (mainly) red, orange, and yellow pearl/knit stitches. The evil archduke is portrayed in dark browns, while the night he steals the box is washed in dark grey-green, bled to the edges.
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LibraryThing member roxygamboa
This book of course has amazing illustraions. It's about a girl who find a box full of bright,colorful yarn and begins knitting things for the entire town. The town started off extremely dark and dull until this creative little girl started to make it a colorful, happy place with her magic yarn.
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The archduke wanted Annabelle's magic yarn and ended up stealing it. You have to read and find out whatever happened to the yarn when it's in the hands of the villan.
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LibraryThing member rebeccabrooke
What a sweet story! Annabelle turns her bland town bright and colorful with her love of knitting and her generous spirit.
LibraryThing member JudesThree
Great creative story about a girl who fills her world with color. There is a sort of hidden message that money can't buy everything.
LibraryThing member Ashley_Peterson
The illustrations were really what kept this book so alive and moving along. Everything at the start of the book is dark and bland in colors. But because of the young girls love for knitting and kind heart, the pages slowly start to be filled with more and more color. It reminds me of someone who
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is cold hearted, and when they start to become alive and caring, their heart sparks with some red and starts to beat again (sort of like in "the Grinch").
This story is about a girl who knits a sweater for her dog, and herself, and her family, and still has extra yarn. So she keeps knitting for people in her town, houses, cats, etc. and keeps going because she STILL has extra yarn. When a man from over seas offers her an insane amount of money she denies him. He sends men over to steal her box with the yarn in it, brings it all the way back, and finds an empty surprise. Really enjoyed the moral to keep giving even if it's something simple as a home-made sweater.
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LibraryThing member ZacWoodruff
This wasn’t a book I particularly cared for compared with some of the other books I’ve read in my children’s collection. The imagery was really dull, and the slight bits of color were very faded and not very interesting visually.
LibraryThing member Vania_Coates
The illustration in this book is brilliant. The transition of color throughout the story really helps bring the story to life. Before Annabelle found the yarn, her town was dark. As she began to knit sweaters, the colors emerged in the story, which helps the reader feel life coming in the town. The
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colors help you feel the happiness of the townspeople and Annabelle. Then when the Archduke arrives, the colors return to their grayscale form. Colors reappear when Annabelle is reunited with her yarn again. The color of the illustration really helps move the story along. The story is a strong one as well. It was short which was fine because the illustration helped move it along. It also provided a sort of lesson at the end that money cannot buy you happiness.
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LibraryThing member AshleyWheeler
This is the story of a little girl named Annabelle who lives in a snowy village with dark buildings, void of color. She finds a box of yarn and when she begins to knit sweaters, she discovers that she never runs out of yarn. She resists selling the box as she enjoys knitting so much.




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