Picture book review: Extra Yarn and Chopsticks

These two picture books don’t have anything in common…although I guess you could use chopsticks for knitting needles in a pinch.

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen.  This is the story of a little girl named Annabelle who finds a never ending skein of yarn.  By knitting everyone she knows a sweater (including dogs) she brings color to the “cold little town” she calls home.  The illustrations in this book are expressive in black in white (except for Annabelle’s multicolored creations).  There is a hint of magic to the story…where is all this yarn coming from?  Kids will identify with the warm, fuzzy feeling that comes from giving and receiving gifts.

Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Scott Magoon.  Chopsticks do everything together, just like best friends that are “attached at the hip.”  But, when one of them is injured they are forced to explore the world on their own.  Rosenthal’s upbeat, sunny view of the world lends itself perfectly to picture books.  Kids will enjoy watching Chopstick try new things while his friend is on the mend.  Adults will appreciate the numerous kitchen puns peppered throughout the story.  The illustrations make the kitchen utensil characters come to life (the worried expression of the cutting board is priceless).  Be sure to pick up this book at the library today!

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