Monday, March 9, 2015

The Mitten

Alvin Tresselt
illustrated by Yaroslava

Another snowy story illustrated by Yarolava.  This time, a little boy has gone out into the woods to gather sticks when he drops one of his leather mittens.  A little mouse spies it and decides to move in.  Soon she is joined by a coterie of other animals who she generously invites in out of the cold.  Stretched to accommodate a frog, a rabbit, an owl, a fox, a wolf, a boar and a bear, it's finally a little cricket who stretches the mitten to it's breaking point.

When the little boy realizes he's lost his mitten (which at this point has been broken apart by all the animals) he sees a little mouse "scurrying away with a bit of red wool perched on her head.  It looked very much like the lining from the thumb of his missing mitten."  But no matter, for when he gets home his grandmother has knitted him a brand new pair.

Another version of this story is told and illustrated by Jan Brett.  In her version, a grandmother has just knitted a pair of snow white mittens for her grandson and warns him not to lose them.  Of course he drops one in the snow and various animals move in, stretching the mitten to comical proportions!  Her list of animals include a rabbit, mole, badger, hedgehog, fox, owl and bear.  And this time it's the little mouse who tickles the bear's nose causing him to sneeze them all out of the mitten.

adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett 1989

It's a cute Ukrainian folktale and both versions are terrific.  I think I'm partial to Yarolsava's bright graphic illustrations though. 

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