What prompted me to pick up this book was the news that a friend who loves to knit was having her first grandchild. Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen is about kindness and generosity, as well as about knitting and dare I say it on this cold morning, warmth.
Annabelle lives in a town where everything is cold and white or covered in black soot. One day she discovers a box filled with colored yarn, so she decides to knit herself a sweater. When she is done, she has extra yarn, so she knits her dog a sweater. Her friend, Nate tells her they look ridiculous. She has extra yarn, so she knits Nate and his dog a sweater too. Her teacher, Mr. Norman, tells her her sweater is a distraction, so because she has extra yarn, she knits a sweater for everyone in class and Mr. Norman, too. Annabelle still has extra yarn, so she knits sweaters for everyone in town except for Mr. Crabtree, who can stand outside in shorts in the snow up to his knees. So she knits him a hat. Then, because she still has extra yarn, she knits sweaters for all the birds and woodland animals (if you read Jon Klassen’s I Want My Hat Back you may recognize some of the animals). Annabelle still had yarn left so she knitted sweaters for houses (boy, did this sound good this morning), pick up trucks and even trees. Annabelle and her box of endless yarn became famous and she became a tourist attraction. An archduke, from a far off country heard about the box that never ran out of yarn and decided he wanted it. He came to visit and offered Annabelle one million dollars, she declined. He offered her two million dollars, then ten million but she again said no. So the archduke hired three men to break into her house at night and steal the box. Back home, the archduke opens the box and it is empty. He throws the box out of the window and places his family curse on Annabelle “You will never be happy again”. But it turns out she was.
The Sonoma County Library has several copies.