Thursday, February 9, 2012

Color Your Winter - Bring on the Yarn

Michelle Edwards is a writer - she knits and she loves books.  Earlier this year she was featured on the McBookwords blog which featured her newest title (for adults) but you'd be surprised how much there is for those of us who love children's books.  Take a look at that blog entry .

Recently Michelle made a book recommendation of her own.  She writes articles for the Lion Brand Yarn newsletter and a recent essay features a children's book, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, about a magic box that refills itself with yarn, colorful yarn that Annabelle uses to knit her way into the hearts of her classmates. 

Connections after connection swirl through my head.  I have a very good friend, a third grade teacher, who utilized those frequent "inside recess" days here in Iowa to teach her students to knit and crochet during noon time recess.  Boys and girls alike loved learning the new skill.  She created a whole generation of knitting/crocheting boys and girls — some of which are now adults who knit and crochet.  Then there is the basket of balls of yarn that my aunt always kept by her rocking chair.  The balls of "extra yarn" was left over from other projects.  Those colorful balls of yarn were used to make hot pads, mittens for small hands, and rainbow scarves.  I'm thinking that basket of yarn is much like Annabelle's box of "extra yarn." 

While Michelle - the knitter, is making connections to all sorts of things knitterly, I am making connections with this book's theme - the never ending supply of yarn.  What a great book to connect to all of those books about a magic soup pot, Strega Nona and her pot of spaghetti, and more.  The majority of other "magic pot" stories are porridge or soup pots - so this story of a box that magically produces "extra yarn" will be a unique title for theme comparison.

Magic Pot/Box Stories

Ziefert, Harriet.  The Magic Porridge Pot.  (Easy-to-Read).  Puffin, 1997.
Stimson, Joan and Rosie Dickins.  The Magic Porridge Pot.  (Usborne First Reading: Level 3) Usborne, 2008.
De Paola, Tomie.  Strega Nona, Little Simon, 1997.
Galone, Paul.  The Magic Porridge Pot.  Clarion, 1979.
Mbanze, Dinah M. , reteller. The Magic Pot: Three African Tales. Illustrations by Niki Daly.  Kwela Books, 2002.

Preview the book if you would like -- from the HarperCollins site.  And then enjoy a good read.

Enjoy your reading and your knitting --

McBookwords has a dozen or more authors that speak with young readers.  If you would like to investigate having an author visit your school or library -- for an author appearance please contact us at McBookwords.  Each of these authors often speak  in schools with young readers, and at all types of groups that are interested in literacy and  books.



  1. Extra Yarn is a fabulous book! Recently, I read it to 3rd graders for a lesson on using details to determine theme. They did a great job, and understood very quickly that the box was magic. I hadn't thought of connecting it with books like Stone Soup & Strega Nona, thought. Thanks for a great idea!

  2. Thanks for the comment - glad you might have another connection to share with your young readers. If you come across any other "magic books" I'd love to have the titles to add.