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Extra Yarn

Telling Stories about Knitting

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Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.

Balzer + Bray.

I love to read books that involve knitting to my daughter. I think of it as a subtle bit of indoctrination at a time when she's not yet old enough to knit herself.

Like most readers of all ages, my 2.5-year-old really enjoys Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen. She loves this magical tale about a girl and Annabelle who finds a box of yarn in the woods.

A Very Special Box of Yarn

The town Annabelle lives in is dark and monochromatic, while the yarn is vibrant, multicolored stuff. She knits a sweater for herself, but she has extra yarn so she knits one for her dog, too.

Her teacher says the bright colors are too distracting, so she says she'll knit a sweater for everyone in class. And because her box of yarn is very special, she still has extra yarn. So she knits and knits, changing her town and becoming a bit of a celebrity in the process.

That alone would make a nice little story. But it's never to early to introduce conflict into the stories our kids read, is it?

A rich archduke who loves clothes hears about the box and wants to buy it from Annabelle, but she won't sell.

(Though kids may not get it, there's a nice message in this book about the value of creativity and happiness that money can't buy as well as the more obvious lesson that jealousy is unproductive.)

This cute, colorful book is a quick read that young kids are sure to enjoy, whether you're indoctrinating prereaders and preknitters or teaching an older kid that knitting is cool.

I'm not an expert on these sorts of things, but Amazon rates this book as appropriate for ages 4 and up. My younger one likes it just fine, but I'm sure she doesn't quite understand it all.

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