The Mitten written and illustrated by Jan Brett
In honor of Traditional Thursday I chose one of my childhood favorites, The Mitten by Jan Brett. The book takes place in the woods during the snowy winter months. What does everyone want in the wintertime? Warmth! After a little boy drops his white mitten in the snow, animal after animal squeeze into it and find comfort from the cold. As a Michigander the setting reminds me of Christmas time and watching the snow gracefully fall on the trees. Jan Brett captures this same emotion through her illustrations full of visual delights and details parallel to the Ukrainian tradition, from which the story comes. In addition, there are side illustrations that foreshadow which animal will join the mitten next exciting the reader about the next page. Bret also adds humor to the story both when the animals are forced out of the mitten by a measly mouse and also at the end of the story with an image of the two mittens- one big one small. Teacher activities could include a show and tell of something given by a grandparent. Another idea would be to discuss the animals in the book, like the grizzly bear or the curious mole. This way children can relate what they know to the illustrations. I would recommend this book for young readers around christmas time. All around humorous, colorful, and warm!