Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Review - The Mitten

The Mitten

by Jan Brett
Date: 1989
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: library

Millions of readers have fallen in love with Jan Brett’s The Mitten, and over 2.5 million copies have been sold since publication in 1989. This striking oversized anniversary edition with a silver foil jacket and a fresh image of the woodland animals will attract fans old and new, and adult collectors of Jan Brett’s books. Set in a snowy forest, the fun begins when, one by one, animals crawl into Nicki’s lost white mitten to get warm until the bear sneezes, sending the animals flying up and out of the mitten. On each turn of the page, Jan hints at what animal is coming next in her signature borders, inspired by Ukrainian folk art.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I can't recall ever reading The Mitten before. I assumed it was a Christmas story, but it's not; it's simply a winter story, set in snowy Ukraine.

A boy named Nicki wants a pair of snow-white mittens. His grandmother is skeptical, thinking he'll lose them in the snow where he won't be able to find them. But he insists, and is gifted with a pair of white mittens. Of course, he promptly loses one, and it becomes a source of comfort for a number of woodland animals, each of them squeezing into the magical mitten until an unexpected sneeze propels the story to its conclusion.

Jan Brett's artwork is always interesting, and it's lovely here, full of incredible detail. I enjoyed looking at the little side panels, which would give a hint about which animal was going to show up next to claim their space inside the mitten.

Overall, I enjoyed this one. It's easy to see why it's a classic. I read the 20th-anniversary edition, but the book is over 30 years old now. And it'll probably be enjoyed by readers for many more years to come.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

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