Tuesday, December 17, 2013

EXTRA YARN (Picture Book)

by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Balzer & Bray-HarperCollins, 2012

A Book Review by 
Violet the Telekinetic Puppy

I’m Violet and I’m going to tell you about a book about a box with lots and lots and lots of yarn in it. Annabelle is a little girl who finds the box of yarn and she uses the yarn to knit sweaters for everybody and everything in town even the people and the animals and the mailboxes and the houses and because everyone and everything is wearing a colorful sweater the town is extra pretty. She also makes a hat. The best part is that even though she knits lots and lots and lots of sweaters and a hat and even though the box of yarn looks small Annabelle never runs out of yarn.

An archduke wants the box of yarn and when Annabelle won’t give it to him he steals it because he is a mean and greedy archduke. But guess what? When he opens the box there isn’t lots and lots and lots of yarn in it. There isn’t any yarn in the box at all. Then Annabelle gets the box back and there is lots and lots and lots of yarn in it again.

Lenny says that the box is magic but I think it is the yarn that is magic and Oliver thinks it is Annabelle’s knitting needles that are magic. Maybe all three of us are right or maybe all three of us are wrong and it is Annabelle who is magic. It is fun to wonder where the yarn comes from and how it all fits in the small box and it is also fun to look at the pictures in this book and my favorite picture is at the end when Annabelle and some cats and some dogs are sitting in a tree wearing sweaters and even the tree is wearing a sweater.

After I read this book I wanted to make sweaters for everybody and everything but I can’t knit because knitters need thumbs and I am a puppy and puppies don’t have thumbs. At first I was sad but then I got happy because I figured out a way to make sweaters without knitting and if you want me to I will show you how so you can make lots and lots and lots of sweaters too.

First you need to get some supplies and in case you don’t know what supplies are I will tell you. Supplies are the things you need to have to do something like make a sweater. Annabelle’s supplies are her box of yarn and her knitting needles. Here is a list of supplies you will need:

  • scissors
  • hole punch
  • cookie cutters (This is an extra supply. You don’t have to use cookie cutters if you don’t want to.)
  • thick paper
  • masking tape
  • pencil
  • markers or crayons
  • lots and lots and lots of yarn

Now it is time to tell you what to do with the supplies.


First you need to decide if you want to make a sweater for a person or a dog or a waffle iron. Then use a pencil to draw the person or dog or waffle iron on a piece of thick paper and then use scissors to cut out the shape. If you need help drawing different shapes you can use a cookie cutter and trace around the cookie cutter on the thick paper.


A hole punch is a tool that you can use to make holes in paper and that is what you need to do next. Make the holes at the top and the bottom of your shape. If you are wondering what these holes are for don’t worry because I will tell you soon.


Pick a color of yarn for the sweater you are going to make and loop it around and around and around your shape so that you will know how much yarn you will need for the sweater. Then you can cut the yarn with scissors.


Take one end of the yarn and tie it to your shape. Tie the yarn in a knot so it won’t come loose because if it comes loose the sweater will fall apart and you will be sad and the shape will get cold.


You are going to push the yarn through the holes to make the sweater. It will be easier to push the yarn through the holes if the yarn has a pointy end. Yarn is soft and fluffy and not pointy so you will have to make it pointy by wrapping masking tape around the end.


Now you are ready to make a sweater and you will do this by pushing the pointy end of the yarn through a hole at the top of the shape and back out another hole at the bottom of the shape and through another hole at the top of the shape and back out another hole at the bottom of the shape until the sweater is done. See how the one side is all zig-zaggy and the other side is not zig-zaggy? You will have to tie another knot when you are done so the sweater doesn’t fall apart and make you sad and the shape will get cold.


Use crayons or markers to draw on your shapes. I don’t have a picture for this step because you probably already know how to use crayons and markers. You can draw on both sides.

Me and Lenny and Oliver made sweaters for different shapes and then used markers to draw on our shapes. If you want to see what we made I will show you.

I made a sweater for a dog with floppy orange ears and a green collar who is named Barney and I tried to make the sweater look just like the sweaters that Annabelle makes in the book EXTRA YARN.

Lenny made a cat and I think it is a very good cat and he wanted me to tell you that just because he made a cat it doesn’t mean that he likes cats because he doesn’t. I like how Lenny added whiskers on his cat and made the sweater cover the cat’s tail and legs and face. That cat will stay nice and warm this winter.

Oliver made a sweater for Bigfoot and I think it looks like an argyle sweater and if you don’t know what argyle is I will tell you that argyle is a type of decoration knitters make that looks like lots and lots and lots of rows of diamond shapes. Bigfoot has messy hair so Oliver used some yarn to make messy hair for his yarn Bigfoot.

Now you can make sweaters for everybody and everything too.


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