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The Mitten, 20th Anniversary Edition Hardcover – October 5, 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 335 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A Ukrainian boy named Nicki wants his grandmother Baba to knit snow-white mittens for him. She warns her grandson that a white mitten will be hard to find if he loses it in the snow, but of course he promptly does just that! What happens next is the surprising part, as a mole takes refuge in the lost mitten, then a rabbit, then a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, and a fox. If you think the mitten might be a wee bit stretched out at this point, just wait: "Then a big bear sniffed at the mitten. The animals were packed in tight, but the bear didn't care. He crawled in anyway." When a tiny mouse squeezes in, her whiskers tickle the bear's nose. He sneezes, and "Aaaaa-aaaaa-ca-chew!" all the animals fly out of their crocheted cave. As the mitten sails through the air, Nicki spots it, reclaims it, and takes it home to show his smiling Baba.

Jan Brett is the illustrator of many well-known folktales, fairy tales, and poems, such as Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Owl and the Pussycat, by Edward Lear. Her special signature in her detailed artwork is the intricate borders, seen in this book as birch-bark panels with embroidered details and mitten-shaped vignettes offering additional insights into the story line. Brett is at her best when she illustrates animals, and the expressions on the faces of her creatures are a delight. She carefully researched the costumes, furniture, and house in this traditional Ukrainian tale--all are authentic. A fine story to read on a frosty night with a cup of hot chocolate, and if you ever get your fill of The Mitten, you can always try its delightfully original companion book, The Hat, winner of the 1998 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award. (Ages 4 to 8) --This text refers to the Board book edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Baba, Nicki's grandmother, knits pure white mittens for him, even though she is afraid that he will lose them in the snow. Sure enough, the first time Nicki is out, he drops one and some animals promptly move into its snug wool interior. First comes a mole, then a rabbit, a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, a fox, a bear and, finally, a mouse. That mouse tickles the bear's nose and he sneezes, dislodging all of the animals at once. Nicki finds his mitten, and takes it home, but Baba is left to wonder about how it became so enormously stretched out. Brett's magnificent paintings feature her usual array of folk details, and this time, intricate knitting tracks, ornate embroidery, the crusty, peeling texture of the birch bark borders and the exquisite patterns found in Baba's homey rooms. Readers will sit back, suspend belief and welcome this tall tale from the Ukrainian tradition. Ages 4-8.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Board book edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 5 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - Kindergarten
  • Lexile Measure: 0800 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers; 20th Anniversary ed. edition (October 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399252967
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399252969
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 0.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (335 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,228 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Board book
I bought this a few years ago on the strength of all the good reviews on amazon.com, but my toddler/pre-school daughter never really liked the book much, and the illustrations never grabbed her. This year I bought the Jan Brett Christmas Treasury--a collection of her winter and Christmas stories--even though I was sorry that The Mitten was a duplicate. Then I discovered what a difference the format makes! The illustrations on 11 x 11-inch pages are eye-popping and reveal the story so much better. And what the description here doesn't tell you is that the text in the board book is *abridged,* which simplifies the story line to a bare minimum and doesn't connect the illustrations together as well. Spring for the hardbound full-size or used paperback full-size, or spend not much more for the many books in the Christmas Treasury and you'll get a better read for your money!
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Format: Board book
As a kindergarten teacher, I am always on the lookout for ways to encorporate literature into my everyday lessons. Jan Brett's The Mitten is a must for the first day of winter. The children love the illustrations and guessing how many animals will fit into the mitten. They "read" the book to each other long after the lesson is over. The class also publishes their own book about what could fit in their mitten. The Mitten is a delightful story with predictability and loveable animal characters.
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Format: Board book
Currently my children's favorite book, The Mitten scores on several levels. First, the art is wonderful. Seven or eight animals are pictured in the book (and very well drawn) which makes it a visual feast. Each two page spread also includes two smaller "summary" and "foreshadowing" pictures that relate to the previous and following page. It makes for a spread that has a lot of possibilities for young pre-readers in terms of connecting the story and describing what each character has done and will be doing. The tale itself is whimsical and amuses the pre-school set. A fine children's book.
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Format: Board book
My two and a half year old granddaughter made me read this story over and over. She wouldn't take off the mittens, even wearing them to bed. The pictures are wonderful and if played up by the reader, they increase the interest in the story. This would be a great Christmas present.
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Format: Hardcover
I ordered this because I was having difficulty finding the original THE MITTEN from my childhood. This re-telling kills the beautiful original message of giving and sharing. In the original, the cricket invites all of the animals into the mitten out of kindness--it's the coldest day of the winter and she feels sorry for them. In this version, each of the animals feels "bullied" into letting the next animal in out of fear. Ugly! And what a terrible message in this day and age, when bullying is such an issue. I would never recommend this book when the original is still available. And something about the simpler drawings in the original allows the story to truly shine, as it should. This version is pretty, but hollow.
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Format: Board book
This is another great retelling by Jan Brett. I read this book to my second grade class every year. You can download a mitten and the animals from the story at Jan Brett's web site. After I read this delightful story to my class, the children color the animals and cut them out along with the mitten. I read the story again and they act it out with their animals. They take the mitten and animals home to do a retelling with their families. The children absolutely love this story and the activities.
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By A Customer on March 2, 1999
Format: Board book
My one-year old loves this book. The picture of the mouse joining the other animals in the mitten never fails to crack him up. This is his favorite book to "read" to himself and I can understand why - the illustrations are lively, and funny, and the pages are packed with detail.
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Format: Board book
This book about a group of animals who burrow into a well-crafted mitten dropped in the snow by a Ukrainian boy is a delightful tale about companionship and sharing. Jan Brett's illustrations are once again intricate, realistic, and beautiful in detail, especially her renderings of the animals. A wonderful addition to any child's library.
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