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The Mitten: An Old Ukrainian Folktale by…

The Mitten: An Old Ukrainian Folktale

by Alvin Tresselt

Other authors: Yaroslava (Illustrator)

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This was a strange folktale and one that I still do not fully understand. A child was gathering wood and dropped their mitten. A mouse found the mitten and curled up in it to escape the cold. Other animals happened by and climbed into the ever expanding mitten all the way up to a bear. The mitten strained at the seams but didn't burst until a small grasshopper tried to join in and then it immediately exploded. I thought at first the moral was to share and then maybe a cautionary tale about sharing but neither of these seemed to fit. ( )
  Kevin-Kelley | Nov 12, 2018 |
cold season winter
  mcarrollfr | Apr 25, 2017 |
I really enjoyed this traditional story for many reasons. I had never heard of this story before but I heard it was popular in the genre of traditional literature so I thought I would read it. This first reason why I liked it was the plot. The storyline was cute and simple. The idea that the all the animals generously made room for all the animals to fit into the tiny glove in the extreme cold weather even though there was not nearly enough room. I also really enjoyed the illustrations, even though they were simple, they were very effective in telling the story. I also enjoyed that majority of the illustrations were in black and white with pops of color here and there. Another small touch I enjoyed with the illustrations was that every other page was a turquoise-blue color. It added a little bit of pop to the very simple illustrations. In addition, on the blue pages the illustrations were all in black and white and on the white pages the illustrations were mostly black with little bits of color. The main idea of this story to listen to your elders because they are wiser and have more life experience. Another main idea could be to always help others in need even if it makes your life a little bit harder. ( )
  skres1 | Mar 9, 2016 |
Apparently, "The Mitten" is a popular Ukrainian folktale because a) it was the easiest for me to find multiple versions of, and b) it was featured in all three of the collections I borrowed in January 2016. Although I could not find an "original" version in print. So I researched online and found this page. From reading that page, Evgenii Rachev appears to be the first illustrator of the story, Rukavichka, which was published in 1951. The version I read, translated and retold by Alvin Tresselt, was first published in 1964.

This retelling's mittens were made of leather and lined with fur. The animals in order of occupancy: mouse, frog, owl, rabbit, fox, wolf, boar, bear -- and finally, a cricket was one too many. The mitten splits apart with such force it throws the animals all over the place.

4 stars

I found it interesting that the animals never questioned whether it was safe for them to allow the next animal, only that the mitten was crowded and couldn't possibly hold another creature. Is the lesson then to always give / share, even if doing so means you sacrifice your own comfort or safety?

(c) 1964 Retold by Alvin R. Tresselt. Adapted from the version by E. Rachov. Illustrated by Yaroslava. ( )
  flying_monkeys | Feb 2, 2016 |
“Mittens” is a folktale that has many different versions. The main idea of the folktale is that sharing is important. The story had me guessing how many animals will fit into this one little mitten. The story was repetitive with one animal after the next asking “is there room for me in that nice warm mitten?” After all the animals squish in together the mitten finally tears and each animal gets a little piece to keep them self-warm. The story is cute and creative. The illustrations are simple and reflect the Ukrainian Culture, which is where the folktale originated, as well as, set the mood for a winter forest. ( )
  mderob1 | Apr 20, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alvin Tresseltprimary authorall editionscalculated
YaroslavaIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688092381, Paperback)

Deep in the woods on the coldest day of winter a little boy drops his mitten. And that lost mitten stretches and stretches -- and stretches -- to provide shelter for many woodland creatures. A Ukrainian folk tale.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:36 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A retelling of the traditional tale of how a boy's lost miten ecomes a refuge from the cold or an increasing number of animals.

» see all 4 descriptions

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