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The Mitten Paperback – 1990
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In Jan Brett's wintertime favorite The Mitten, 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." The Mitten, a runaway holiday hit, is now packaged in a lovely gift box with a set of pale gray, stretchy acrylic, machine-washable, one-size-fits-most-kids-under-five mittens, complete with hedgehog decal. This is a fine story to read on a frosty night with a cup of hot chocolate (wearing hedgehog mittens of course), 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. (Preschool to age 5) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback 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 an alternate Paperback edition.
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But---a tiny mouse, a latecomer, climbs on bear's nose causing a big sneeze which propels all the critters hither and yon, and tosses the mitten through the air just in time for Nikki who is searching to catch it. On the last page, Nikki is happily toasting his toes by the fire while Grandma holds up the mittens she has knitted puzzled indeed about why has stretched and stretched.
The story abounds with delights for reader and listeners: the text is written with almost a poetic cadence with lovely sounding words; the illustrations are bright with color and joyously composed, the story tickles the imaginations and offers a grand platform for talking about animals who might or might not fitten into a mitten. For my family, this was a perfect Christmas-tide story even here on a tropical island .
Any Reader Alerts? None at all. This is pure enchantment at a very affordable price. Very highly recommended.
It's not neutral colors and relaxing, I like that about books. It's not neon colors and flashy stories with no meaning, just to hold children's attention. It uses some old fashioned terminology and language, but that's a good thing because I don't feel it panders to younger readers.
It's beautiful. Get the book!
The little mitten cutouts highlight the upcoming action, which our son really likes. Great story and illustrations.
I purchased this book for my classroom, since we are studying the world and culture through music! Couldn't think of a better story to read to my class of 3-5 year olds.
I never forgot her illustrations and the book was exactly how I remembered it when I last read it at six years old!
One of Brett's strengths is in the detail she crams into every page. For example, in this book the sidebar of every left-hand page shows how the boy, Nicki, accidentally dislodges the next animal to go visit his mitten, and on the right-hand page the sidebar shows that animal running towards the mitten.
Unfortunately, I'm not certain that the level of detail Brett goes into is particularly well-suited for board books. The text is simple enough for a very young child to sit through and understand, but all the same, you might be better off waiting until they're old enough for a real copy of this book. (Especially if a previous commenter is correct and this version is abridged from the original!)
All her books that I buy for my family know that these are "treasures and keepsakes" to be passed down...