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The Mitten by Jan Brett

The Mitten (edition 1989)

by Jan Brett

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4,0621581,250 (4.23)13
Title:The Mitten
Authors:Jan Brett
Info:Putnam Juvenile (1989), Edition: REI/CAS, Hardcover, 32 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:mystery, winter, fiction

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The Mitten by Jan Brett


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The Mitten tells the story of a young boy who begs his grandmother to make him a pair of snow white gloves. When he plays outside, one gets dropped and left behind. One by one, animals find it and crawl inside for warmth. Eventually, the bear sneezes due to the mouse sitting on his nose, and the mitten flies off into the hands of the boy, now returning home.

The illustrations are first sketched in pencil then watercolored.

GENRE: Folktale (an adaptation of an Ukrainian tradition)

- have students research and write a report about different characteristics of the animals featured in the book to connect to science
- have students make animal masks and act out the story
- use to start conversation about inclusion, sharing, or making room for others
  sso14 | Feb 6, 2016 |
A super fun story that I've used in class several times. The delight of the audience is always a given! Curricular connection - story sequencing, sharing ( )
  JillStephens | Feb 6, 2016 |
When I selected Ukraine for an "Around the World" challenge, I had no idea how difficult it would be to find original fairy and folktales, collections, or modern retellings in print. I didn't realize how much Ukraine's history had impacted their ability to preserve traditions, customs and folklore. So I stuck with my research and discovered one of the most widely read Ukrainian folktales is "The Mitten." My first experience with the tale was this 1964 version, translated and retold by Alvin Tresselt, illustrated by Yaroslava, which I quite enjoyed. But by far the most popular English version was this one, retold and illustrated by Jan Brett, first published in 1989.

This retelling's mittens were pure white and hand-knitted. The animals in order of occupancy: mole, rabbit, hedgehog, owl, badger, fox, bear -- and finally, a tiny mouse who caused the bear to sneeze, which threw all the animals outta the mitten. The boy sees the mitten fly into the air and recovers his lost mitten, for a happily ever after. I thought the naturally stretchy material added a bit more realism to the overloaded mitten and also made the ending more comical because of the one very stretched out mitten beside the normal-sized one.

The illustrations in Brett's version are highly detailed and beautiful. This alone could be one reason why people so prefer it to Tresselt's version. I can imagine, as a child, reading Brett's adaptation, those images would likely stick with them longer than the more simplistic illustrations by Yaroslava. However, I still prefer the 1964 version (that cricket at the end cracks me up).

4 stars ( )
  flying_monkeys | Feb 2, 2016 |
this book is by far one of the greatest book i remeber being read to me when i was a child. i am so happy to be able to reread it again. ( )
  dianamartinez | Dec 9, 2015 |
This picture book focuses on a young boy, Nikki. Nikki wants snow white mittens for winter. His grandma, Baba tells him that he is going to lose the mittens in the snow and will never find it again. However, still makes the mittens for Nikki. Nikki goes out to play and loses one mitten. This mitten is used by many animals as a warm and cozy shelter because of the snow and wind outside. This mitten stretches out so big to find 7 animals and a bear. The title page (cover page) has no photo or illustration, or text. The illustrations inside the book looks very complex. It looks like the illustrator definitely took their time drawing each page with many details added. The text has a small amount on each page and is very easy to read. No matter how big or small, everyone needs a home. In the story, the mitten was used as a home for many animals that needed warmth. Each and every one of those animals fit into the mitten. This book can be used very well as a resource for animals. The animals are not described specifically in the book, however are mentioned and the illustrations are very realistic. ( )
  sherr3084796 | Dec 3, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 039921920X, Hardcover)

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)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:03 -0400)

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Several animals sleep snugly in Nicki's lost mitten until the bear sneezes.

(summary from another edition)

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