A 2013 Caldecott Honor Book
Winner of the 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Picture Book
This is an extraordinary new picture book about a little girl who cocoons her cold, grey town in joy and warmth...and brightly coloured yarn!
On a cold, dark day in a dull, grey town, little Annabelle discovers a box of brightly coloured yarn. She knits a cosy jumper to keep herself nice and toasty warm and finds, to her surprise, that she still has yarn left over. So she decides to knit her dog a jumper too but - hang on a second - she STILL has extra yarn! Annabelle knits and knits and, soon, she's blanketed the entire town in a rainbow of colour, knitting away the dreary iciness that grips it. Her prodigious status spreads far and wide. It doesn't take long for the evil Archduke to set his beady eyes upon Annabelle's magical box of yarn but, little does he know, you have to have a little bit of magic inside your heart for it to work...
About the Author
The perfect marriage of a beautiful, timeless story and stunning illustrations from a dream duo, Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Rising star Jon Klassen's debut picture book, "I Want My Hat Back", was listed as one of the "New York Times"' Best Illustrated Books of 2011. Keep your eyes peeled for a very familiar-looking bear in Extra Yarn!
Understated illustrations and prose seamlessly construct an enchanting and mysterious tale about a girl named Annabelle, who lives in a world “where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys.” After Annabelle finds a box filled with yarn of every color, she immediately sets out to knit sweaters for everyone she knows. Barnett’s (Mustache!) story is both fairy tale lean and slyly witty. No matter how many sweaters Annabelle knits, the box always has “extra yarn” for another project, until the entire town is covered with angled stitches in muted, variegated colors—people, animals, and buildings alike. (Fans of Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back may suspect that a few of the animals from that story have wandered into this one.) A villainous archduke offers to buy the box, but Annabelle refuses. He steals it, but finds it contains no yarn at all, and with the help of just a bit more magic, it finds its way back to Annabelle. Barnett wisely leaves the box’s magic a mystery, keeping the focus on Annabelle’s creativity, generosity, and determination. Ages 4–8. (Jan.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Amid white snow and black chimney soot, Annabelle finds an amazing box of yarn of many colors. When she has knitted herself a sweater, she still has more yarn, so she knits one for her dog and her friend. And still there is more. After causing a distraction in school, she knits sweaters for the whole class and the teacher. The miraculous box then yields enough yarn for sweaters for "everyone," even dogs, cats, and eventually all the buildings in town. People come to see this remarkable sight, including an archduke who wants to buy the box. But Annabelle will not sell, so the duke has it stolen. When he opens it in his castle, however, the furious duke finds it empty. He curses Annabelle, but she remains happy at the end. On the jacket are Annabelle and a few animals, all wearing knitted garments made up of magnified rows of knitting stitches. Even the letters of the title are covered with them. From the title page some meandering yarn leads us to the box and a watching dog. When the story begins, the illustrations are not detailed except for the knitted coverings, which also offer the only color. There is little additional scenery. Possible meanings to the charming tale remain with the reader. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—In a snow- and soot-covered town, Annabelle discovers a small black box filled with colorful yarn. She knits a sweater for herself, but there's still yarn left over. From the seemingly inexhaustible supply, she knits sweaters for her dog, a boy and his dog, her classmates, her mean teacher, her parents, and people in town. In an astounding feat of urban knitting, she covers the buildings in sweatery goodness, but the yarn does not run out. Disaster strikes when a mustachioed, piratical archduke arrives, demanding that the child sell him the magic box. When she declines, he steals it but does not benefit from his crime, as he finds it empty. In a fit of rage, the archduke curses Annabelle and flings the box into the sea. Happily, it finds its way back to her full of yarn again. Klassen's deadpan, stylized illustrations impeccably complement Barnett's quirky droll writing. Small details like a dog's sneer or sweater-covered mailboxes add to the subtle humor. The cheerful colors of the yarn contrast with the somber grays and blacks of the town. Give this one to fans of offbeat stories like Florence Heide's Princess Hyacinth: (The Surprising Story of a Girl Who Floated) (Random, 2009) or to young knitting enthusiasts.—Yelena Alekseyeva-Popova, Chappaqua Library, NY
A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn. Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion. A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)
"Reading like a droll fairy tale, this Barnett-Klassen collaboration is both seamless and magical. The spare, elegant text and art are also infused with plenty of deadpan humor. Quirky and wonderful, this story quietly celebrates a child's ingenuity and her ability to change the world around her."--Booklist (starred review)
For Ages: 4 - 8 years old
Number Of Pages: 40
Published: 17th January 2012
Dimensions (cm): 21.844 x 25.908 x 1.524
Weight (kg): 0.408