My mother-in-law (who is a knitter) recently bought the new children’s book Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen after reading a recent review of it in the Grand Rapids Press. She brought it to our house and read it to my preschool-age daughter. Although I am crafty, I am not a knitter (yet!) so I was surprised to be so thoroughly charmed by this beautiful and sweet story.
The best books for kids have equally strong stories and illustrations. The very best books for kids create magic when the words and the images seem made for each other and both are enchanting. Extra Yarn hits that sweet spot – perhaps because the author was inspired to write the story after viewing a piece of art by the illustrator.
It is not industry standard for authors and illustrators to know each other or even meet. However, as I discovered in Jennifer Ackerman Haywood’s interviews with both the author and illustrator, these two did know each other and collaborated on the creation of this book. So it headed to the publisher as a package deal.
The story is wonderful and the extra yarn brings life and color and humor to an otherwise drab town. The ending has a dash of the unexpected and magical, allowing children to bask in a sense of wonderment. Check it out today!
PS If you enjoy the illustrations by Jon Klassen you might want to check out his hilarious, if slightly darker, I Want My Hat Back. I loved it so much I had to buy it. It made me laugh so hard I cried.