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Extra Yarn

Before I had kids I had an idealized image of my future self as a mother reading to my children. Twenty years after my first was born I can report that the reality of reading with them easily equalled those early daydreams. Happily my kids all developed a love of books early on. One of Anders first words was 'book'. When I was pregnant with my girls and on bedrest to avoid early labor he would bring book after book to me to read to him. Sofie wouldn't go anywhere without her copy of Raymond Briggs Then Snowman and the stuffed toy that accompanied the book. When someone was having a cranky day or they were all fighting with each other, I would sit on the couch with a book and start reading out loud. Before long I'd have three sweet kids snuggling up to me, all completely engrossed in the book -- the object of their quarrel forgotten, the crankiness gone. IJK had  such a love of books that when she was three or four she went through a period of sleeping with 20 or so favorites in her bed. Books continue to play an important part in their everyday lives, so when I was asked to review the book Extra Yarn I decided that a guest post from one of my children was in order. The following is IJK's review of the book Extra Yarn  - which, for the record, charmed me as much as it did her.

Harper Collins sent us a book. It is an amazing book.  It is a book everyone should see.  And I will stress this, do not just read it, SEE IT.  Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, with illustrations by Jon Klassen, has a surplus of many things.  As the name may suggest, the book has a surplus of yarn, but it also has a surplus of whimsy, a surplus of generosity, a surplus of beautiful illustrations, and a surplus of cute.  To be clear, this is just the right amount of each of these things.   


Children’s books can be saccharine and simplistic.  Extra Yarn does have an easily understood story and a heartwarming ending, as well as images that rely on simple shapes and a limited color palette.  However, these are done to perfection, and are far from the bejeweled books I have seen on many a bookstore shelf.  I may not be a child anymore, but I still fell in love with those mesmerizing illustrated pages that I certainly would have stopped my mother from turning when I was younger. 


The inside flap says this book is for 4 to 8 year olds.  I disagree completely, and am of the opinion that this book is for anyone who is creative, curious, and wants to be inspired.  The only reason I was left heartbroken after I finished reading is because I hadn’t created it, and I can only wish I will one day think of something so gorgeous, witty, and fun.


If you are a fan of illustration, have kids, or love EVERYTHING IN SWEATERS, this book may, just possibly, deserve a place on your bookshelf, preferably at eye level.  This blurb may make me seem ridiculously, uncharacteristically positive, as I am a person who has perfected the art of the death glare, but I swear, it knocked my hand-knitted socks off.


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Now, that's a review that would make me rush out and buy a book. Well done!

I just saw this pinned but had no idea what it was. I hope to put my hands on it in real life soon. Thanks for the review that made me want to look at it.

That girl can write!!

I saw this book the other day and read the first few pages online....and fell in love....I NNEEEEEDDDD to know how it ends....

Plus the kids would love it too!
Gotta hunt this one down for sure

I love her review. I too have three young lovers of the written word. This book is coming into our home soon.

You've raised a reader, and a writer! What a great review. I need this book!

So sweet! I know the next gift I'm getting a little one....

I love it already...and am sure to have fond memories of reading it with CC as well as having a connection to you and yours for sharing this review with us :o)

Gorgeous review, gorgeous book! :)

I am a teacher and would love to share this book with my students! Thank you for the wonderful book review!

Excellent review & reviewer! I think I know someone who needs a copy very close by.

My daughter would sleep with books too - she'd wake up in the middle of the night upset if she couldn't find her latest library book that she had been snuggling with that night.

Thank you for the review - can't wait to check it out.

Great review! I'm going to order the book for my class.

A friend told me about this book a month or so ago, and when I was at the bookstore looking for baby board-books for a baby shower a week later, I saw it on the Featured shelf. I had to bring it home for my son. He's only 2 (only just 2, though precocious) but he LOVES THIS BOOK. The Archduke, the villain, is definitely his favorite. But all of us just LOVE IT. The illustrations are just what IJK describes -- incredibly sweet and lovely and clever and cute, without being saccharine. I have already recommended it to all of my craft-appreciative friends with children, and will continue to do so. I'm so glad to see the book getting press from the knitting community!

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