So far, this is my favorite picture book of the year because it makes me laugh. The humor is a little off-kilter, which makes it even more fun.
Extra Yarn is the story of a girl named Annabelle who brings some light into her cold, gloomy town by knitting everyone colorful sweaters. She even knits one for Little Louis! (There is no explanation as to why she would have left poor Louis out, except that he appears to be a half-size man with a full-size beard. Is he the village idiot?) She wants to knit a sweater for Mr. Crabtree who "never wore sweaters or even long pants" and is pictured wearing boxer shorts and a wife beater shirt. He declines her offer, so she makes him a hat instead. (Is he the village exhibitionist?)
One day an evil archduke sails into town on a mission to steal Annabelle's yarn. He declares: "Little girl, I curse you with my family's curse! You will never be happy again!" (For some reason, this cracks me up.) Good wins out over evil, and in the end, "it turned out that she was."
On the last page we see Annabelle perched comfortably on a yarn-covered tree branch accompanied by a few sweater-clad dogs and cats. This is her happy ending. No handsome prince needed--just a couple of pets for good company.