Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Mitten

Wow!  I can't believe that I'm just now encouraging you to read The Mitten.  This is another one in that building list of "must reads"!  Which edition should you check out?  Hmmmmm, well, I leave that for you to decide.  Around here we have two favorites:

The Mitten, A Ukrainian Folktale adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett (c. 1989), is arguably Brett's best work.  There's something for everyone is this edition.  The younger set will enjoy the simplicity and humor of the tale while the older set will pick up on the additional narratives "told" in Brett's right and left sidebar illustrations.

Note: The youngest's preK class enjoyed it all last week -- first through reading and then through a hands-on coloring / sequencing activity, which you can download and print too.  Have your children color, cut, then reinact the story by stuffing their own mitten full of forest animals from these pages on Jan Brett's website: http://janbrett.com/put_the_animals_in_the_mitten.htm 

You also can't go wrong with The Mitten An Old Ukrainian Folktale retold by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Yaroslava (c. 1964).  Yaroslava's simple yet vibrant illustrations feel "old world" and lend a sort of different sort of credibility to the tale.

Either way, readers, I'd love to hear your preference!  Which story do your kids like best?

Monday, January 14, 2013


Find "January" in A Child's Calendar, a collection of twelve of John Updike's poems that describes a child's journey through the seasons from January through December  (c. 1965).  Caldecott award winning artist Trina Schart Hyman illustrated the collection (c. 1999).