Monday, October 28, 2013

Hand Knitting

Extra Yarn, written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen, is a story about how a girl named Annabelle brings a community back to life. The story is set in a sad, bleak town. When Annabelle finds a magical box filled with colorful yarn, she begins to knit. First, she knits a sweater for herself and her dog. Then, she knits a sweater for everyone in the town. Eventually she "yarn bombs" the town, even the trees. Annabelle's knitting changes the town forever. I enjoyed reading this book to my elementary age students and they liked it too. They understood how the illustrations and words supported each other and enjoyed the main character's determination and knitting stamina! I also used this book as a vehicle to teach the students how to hand knit. It is an easy process, but does require good listening and fine motor skills, the ability to follow directions, some finger coordination, and a lot of patience. Once the children got the hang of it they couldn't stop!