Here is where we sing our song of how much we love Jon Klassen. We do. Sing the song. Every time we read this book. The first time we read this book together – the girls and I – I shut the book at the end and exclaimed “I love Jon Klassen.” We read the book the next night, then closed it shut and F exclaimed “We love Jon Klassen.” Tonight at the dinner table we talked about him, and F asked each of us to raise our hand if we like him. I don’t want to sell Mr. Barnett short, because this tale could not be any more wonderful. Extra Yarn is another example of the perfect combination of words and images. I wonder how this whole collaboration came about. Did Mac write the story and then approach Jon? How much of the story was altered once the illustrations began? Did Jon jump up and down at the prospect of creating an ink drenched landscape of snow and sticks, dotted with smatterings of colorful knitting that looks fuzzy and warm enough to touch? I know I would. I would finish each image and do cartwheels at the very sight of it. I almost do cartwheels when I read it.
Speaking of Jon Klassen, we also own the book both written and illustrated by him, I Want My Hat Back. Also hilarious, and beautifully illustrated. And a little twisted, but in just the way I like my children’s lit to twist. There are lots of shifty eyes in this one. No one meets your gaze.
Oh dear, now I’ve gone and done it. I’m trying to link all the books in our bookbag to the author’s webpage (and not Amazon), and in the process I’ve discovered Jon Klassen’s blog. Completely sucked in.
We do not own House Held Up By Trees – also illustrated by Klassen, though I read it in the bookstore and thought about purchasing it. The story seemed a little haunting for F, and I already had a stack of paperbacks for E so I put it back on the shelf. But again, the images are so wonderful that I’m considering purchasing a copy and framing a couple of the pages. Or just staring at them and wishing I could spend my days illustrating books like these.
Extra Yarn is a great book for kids ages two and up – both my girls are riveted to the story from beginning to end. F’s heard it so much that she chants the words under her breath as I read it aloud. Others that might like it – knitters, yarn bombers, sweater hoarders, as well as all those that like a good tale with greedy royalty undone by a simple girl with a pair of knitting needles. Also a good book to read if you live somewhere that gets endless feet of snow in the winter.
I Want My Hat Back is a great read for all ages, and especially perfect for those friends that never take responsibility for any of their actions. “Who me?!?”
What’s your favorite thing that Annabelle knits a sweater for? E loves the truck’s sweater, F loves Mr. Pendleton. I’m partial to Mr. Crabtree – although you’ll never find me standing out in a snowdrift in my skivvies.
Find these titles at your favorite local independent bookstore. Happy reading!