Posts tagged imagination
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illustrations by Jon Klassen
Annabelle lives “where everywhere you looked was either the white of snow or the black of soot from chimneys,” so when she finds a small, ordinary-looking box filled with bright, rainbow-hued yarn, she knits herself a sweater. The funny thing is that there’s still yarn left, so she knits a sweater for her dog… and still has extra yarn. Annabelle then knits a sweater for a jealous bully, a classroom full of students and teachers, and all the animals. When she has knitted sweaters (and a single hat) for everyone in town, she still has yarn left, so she gets creative: she knits sweaters for the houses and trees too.
Word of her beautiful, colorful creations starts to travel, and people flock to admire the now vivid landscape where she lives. One of them, a wealthy and arrogant archduke, offers to buy Annabelle’s magical box, and when she rejects him, he steals it and sails away, only to find that this endless box of yarn is now suddenly empty. With the help of the ocean waves (and a bit of imagination), the box finds its way back to Annabelle where she happily continues her work in her now bright and appreciative town. (more…)
This fun, curious picture book asks the very important question “what do our parents do when we go to sleep?” Certain that his parents have all kinds of fun once he’s tucked safely into bed, Samuel McKay decides to sneak out of bed with his accomplice Petey Bear, a panda stuffed animal, to catch the excitement once and for all. Images of Sam and Petey Bear sliding down the stairs and creeping down hallways are interspersed with Sam’s imagination: maybe they play video games and eat cake, have a circus act in the kitchen, or ride dinosaurs in the yard! When he finds his parents quietly doing the crossword and reading magazines, Sam is utterly disappointed, and decides he just must have missed the good stuff–he sneak out of bed earlier next time.
Sunshine’s narrations are done in rhyme and rhythm that are at times reminiscent of classic Dr. Seuss and The Night Before Christmas, and most of it works pretty well. In my opinion, though, the best part is the illustrations. Ebbeler’s pastel pictures are fun and colorful, and he’s hidden hilarious images and hints around every page. If you look closely, Sam’s bedroom at the beginning suggests imaginings to come as it’s littered with a toy rocket, a fish tank, jungle sheets, to name a few. Kids will enjoy scouring the pages for new details each reading, which (hopefully) will encourage them to read on their own. It would also work well as a classroom read-aloud–the lilting rhymes make it fun and easy for kids to follow.
It’s a great bedtime story that’s sure to trigger fun, fanciful dreams, and the grown-ups reading it will laugh out loud just as easily as their kids.
Copyright November 2008
Image from www.flashlightpress.com