Picture Books

Extra YarnExtra Yarn by Mac Barnett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As soon as I cracked open this picture book I had to own it. Extra Yarn could be the title of my biography. 🙂
I have been known to have a ball of yarn following me down the road, shut in the car door, and unrolling around the cul-de-sac. My grown sons have their designated pieces of knitted apparel they are willing to wear. My husband patiently and quietly tolerates the knitting paraphernalia cluttering the house. But draws the line at wearing any of it himself. No wait, like Mr. Crabtree in the book, he does wear a knitted hat in the winter. Like Annabelle, I have zealously eyed inanimate objects in my home, wondering how much yarn it would take…..
I HOPE that also like Annabelle, that the joy and hope I feel when knitting cannot be stolen by the selfish archdukes of life.

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This is Not My HatThis is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was the Caldecott winner for 2013. I read both this and its companion, I Want My Hat Back together. They are beautifully simple and suspenseful and entertaining all at once. I can imagine young children holding their breath and gasping at the punch line. I was reminded of the Lyle Lovett song “Don’t Touch My Hat”. I would have to play that fun song while reading these to a classroom!!

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Art & MaxArt & Max by David Wiesner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a re-read, but I am counting it in my #bookaday challenge. I love this more and more every time I open it. This copy was in my swag bag from NerdCamp and I am thrilled. It has an honored place on my sofa table. My new friend, author, Louise Borden then gave me an addtional copy. I will be donating that one to a classroom in the fall.
I think this book touches me as a fellow “artist wannabe”. Art, “The name is ARTHUR!” is an accomplished lizard artist and suffering the silly excitement of Max, definitely a novice. A mess of free-form color and shape ensues. Who can declare themselves the only “real” artist. Give me color and I become Max. All excitement and mess!

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Unspoken: A Story From the Underground RailroadUnspoken: A Story From the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How can a completely wordless book be so powerful and tell such a story. I found myself trying to absorb all the details in every picture on every page. Turning pages back and forth This book is not only wordless, it is colorless, which is usually a challenge for me. Its power is like that of a black and white photography display. It is pencil sketches of a classic story, the harboring of an escaped slave via the underground railroad in rural America. I bought this beautiful book because I want to create a reading/writing project from historical fiction for some of my gifted students. This book is one example of how they could choose to tell their story.
I could see this book being used in an art class also. The art is so dimensional, revealing historical facts, rural culture, and an array of strong emotions. There are a couple of pages with a single eye peering out at the reader. So simple and sooooo moving.

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