The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale

Jan Brett, Adapted by, Jan Brett, Author, Jan Brett, Illustrator
Jan Brett, Adapted by, Jan Brett, Author, Jan Brett, Illustrator Putnam Publishing Group $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-21920-7
Reviewed on: 10/01/1989
Release date: 10/01/1989
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. (Sept.)
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