Wednesday, May 9, 2012

mmm pictures...

Yesterday I came home from my favourite bookstore with a new picture book. It's called Extra Yarn and it's by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. I’m pretty choosy about picture books, but I really like this one for two reasons. First of all, the illustrations. I'm head over heals in love with Jon Klassen’s style. I love how the contrast between colour and no colour is actually a contrast between soft variances of colour and shades of grey. I also love the abundance of white space. (You can purchase Klassen's prints here.)

Second of all, the premise rocks:

Annabelle has some yarn, so she knits herself a sweater. Realizing she has extra yarn, she knits her dog a sweater. Very soon she realizes she has still more yarn and that the people around her really like the things she knits, so she keeps knitting things for everyone around her. And still, her yarn doesn’t run out. So she keeps on knitting, clothing the world around her in colours. When an archduke from across the sea offers to pay a fortune for Annabelle’s limitless yarn, she refuses. So he steals it - only to find that when he does, the box of yarn is empty. The box floats all the way back to Annabelle, who picks it up and promptly starts knitting again.

Why I love this premise:

Annabelle has a gift that she is extremely generous with. And in being generous with her gift she turns a world that’s all shades of grey into a world of colour. She uses her gift to make the world more beautiful. Moreover, her yarn is endless, so long as she keeps using it. When the Archduke tries to steal Annabelle’s yarn and keep it to himself, the yarn disappears... kind of like creativity, which is endless so long as you keep using it, putting it out into the world, and don’t keep it all to yourself.