The Mitten: A Ukrainian Folktale

by Jan Brett

Hardcover, 1989



Call number




G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers (1989), Edition: First Edition, 32 pages


Several animals sleep snugly in Nicki's lost mitten until the bear sneezes.

User reviews

LibraryThing member kscarlett
This is a wonderful folktale about a young boy who begs his grandmother to knit him white mittens. Although she insists on another color, she knits them anyway. The young boy loses the mitten in the snow and many different animals stumble upon the mitten and crawl inside. The book has a funny,
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creative ending that is sure to catch the attention of children of all ages!
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LibraryThing member savannah.julian
This is a classic folk tale about a boy who loses one of his mittens that his grandmother made him in the snow. Luckily for the cold forest animals, the mitten is the perfect shelter. Eight different animals somehow manage to all squeeze into the mitten, but when the bear sneezes they all come
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flying out. The little boy sees the mitten as it flies through the air and is pleased to have his mitten back. His grandmother is happy that he found his other mitten but it is confused about why this one is considerably larger than its pair. Fun tale!
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LibraryThing member relientkatie
Young Nicki asks his Baba (Grandmother) to knit him a pair of white mittens, even though Baba warns him that a white mitten will be hard to find if dropped in the snow. Of course, he quickly looses one of the mittens. It is discovered by a mole, who thinks it would make a nice home, and soon all of
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the forest creatures decide to move in!
I've always loved cumulative stories, and this is a great one. Brett's illustrations are beautiful and clever. It's a nice choice for a read-aloud.
I'd recommend this book for pre-school kids up to first or second graders.
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LibraryThing member LyndaHuntley
This traditional fantasy book is about a young boy named Nicki who want his grandmother to knit him a pair of white mittens. She reluctantly make them for fear that he will lose them in the snow. He does. Then the adventure begins. Animal after animal get into the mitten each afraid to tell the
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other not to get inside. There is no real evil verses good characters but the animals continue to go into the mitten but each are afraid to tell the next animal that there is not enough room because they do not want to be hurt by the next animal this theme repeats as each animal as big as a bear squeezes into the mitten until a little mouse tickles his nose.
I really like how the pictures hint at which animal will be next. I laughed when the bear got inside. It is very easy to read aloud to young children. It captures the attention and thier imagination as each animal get inside the mitten.
In the classroom, before reading the story, I would have them predict which animal will come next and ask what will happen after each animal gets in the mitten. I would also play a memory game to see if the students could remember the order of the animals. I could use either stuffed animals and a large mitten constructed of paper or I could draw pictures of the animals to put in a mitten. I would ask one student at a time to place an animal into the mitten. I would ask the students if this could really happen.
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LibraryThing member missmichelle
Genre: The Mitten is a great example of a folktale becuase it an Ukrainian story that is retold by Jan Brett about a boy, Nicki, who looses a mitten and the animals find it and decide snuggle inside to keep warm. This story has been retold for many generations and the plot is very simple, which the
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reader sees as the story in centered around the different animals trying to make room in the mitten.
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LibraryThing member jlsherman
Wonderful story! I enjoyed reading the simple text, and looking at the beautiful illustrations. One can certainly notice what may be happening next, due to the hints on the right hand page.
LibraryThing member conuly
This is a retelling of a classic folktale about a boy who loses his mitten. As he plays, all sorts of animals squeeze in, until finally they burst out.

One of Brett's strengths is in the detail she crams into every page. For example, in this book the sidebar of every left-hand page shows how the
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boy, Nicki, accidentally dislodges the next animal to go visit his mitten, and on the right-hand page the sidebar shows that animal running towards the mitten.

Unfortunately, I'm not certain that the level of detail Brett goes into is particularly well-suited for board books. The text is simple enough for a very young child to sit through and understand, but all the same, you might be better off waiting until they're old enough for a real copy of this book.
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LibraryThing member GWES.Second
When Nicki drops one of his new white mittens in the snow, he doesn't even notice it's missing. One by one, the woodland animals discover the mitten and crawl inside, each one larger than the last: a mole, a rabbit, even a big, brown bear!
LibraryThing member aecollier
This is a cute book that tells how all the animals crawl into a mitten and it becomes so full that it explodes. This would be a great book for learning about cold weather
LibraryThing member ermilligan
Traditional story about how someone loses their mitten and the animals all bury their bodies up in it to keep warm. The text is simple but the illustrations are very detailed.
LibraryThing member rpultusk
This is a Ukrainian folktale about a young boy who begged his grandma to knit him a pair of white woolen mittens. She did, even though she was sure that he would lose one of them in the snow. He does lose one and several animals make their home inside the lost mitten, including a rabbit, porcupine,
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fox, and bear (among others). When the bear sneezes, the mitten flies off and back into the hands of the young boy. He returns home with both mittens and the book ends with his grandma quizzically examining the one large, stretched mitten.

Brett's illustrations are amazing. The pages contain not only finely detailed central illustrations, but intricately designed border illustrations, too. The pictures on the border reinforce the Eastern Europeanness of the story through traditional dress, patterns, and landscapes. In other words, the border illustrations are reminiscent of an old grandmother's quilt.

The language is sweet and childlike (for example, the mole remarks on the rabbit's "kickers" instead of his legs). The whole story is sweet and childlike!

Highly recommended for elementary school libraries.
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LibraryThing member netaylor
The Mitten is about a little boy named Nicki and his gransmother, Baba. Nicki wants Baba to knit him a pair of snow-white mittens. Baba agrees but insists that Nicki must be extra careful not to lose the Mittens. In the story, one of Nicki's mittens gets left in the snow. The event that take shape
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with the mitten are delightful and funny. A diversity of animals become curious about the mitten and use it to stay 'cozy and warm.' The mitten is shared my a mole, a rabbit, a hedgehog, and many more animals, each greater in size and very unlikely companions. The mitten keeps stretching to make room for the animals, demonstrating the excellent strength of the knitted mitten (and the strength of Baba and the culture/heritage she represents). The mitten is quite crowded until the big bear sneezes and the animals tumble out of the mitten. The illustrations include side images that foreshadow the series of events in the story and depict the importance of knitting. Also, the illustrations depict Nicki and Baba in traditional Ukrainian dress - emphasizing the origins of the story.
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LibraryThing member Brooke28
This is a story about a boy who wanted a white mitten, which was soon lost in the snow. Animals called this mitten home until the bear sneezed and they all flew out. The mitten is found but very stretched out!
LibraryThing member carrie.murphy
This is a fun folktale of a boy who has lost his mitten. Several animals choose to make a home of his mitten during the cold winter.
LibraryThing member jessicaherrin83
As a kindergarten teacher, I am always on the lookout for ways to encorporate literature into my everyday lessons. Jan Brett's The Mitten is a must for the first day of winter. The children love the illustrations and guessing how many animals will fit into the mitten. They "read" the book to each
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other long after the lesson is over. The class also publishes their own book about what could fit in their mitten. The Mitten is a delightful story with predictability and loveable animal characters.
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LibraryThing member spytel
This story is a Ukrainian folktale of a boy who loses his mitten. The mitten soon becomes home to various every increasing in size animals.
Kids will get a kick out of the repetition and ending. It's interesting to see characters dressed in traditional Ukrainian clothing. Jan Brett did a good job at
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the detail, and kids enjoy the foreshadowing of what's coming up on the next spread.
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LibraryThing member psjones
This book has wonderful vocabulary. I think this a great book to read in the winter around Christmas time since the illustrations look like Christmas and it is snowy. There are also incredible illustrations of the animals that are very accurate.
LibraryThing member Sweetiesjm
There was a mitten found in the woods and one by one the animals try and get into the mitten because it is warm inside. It starts with small animal and starts to get bigger and bigger till a bear gets inside and the mitten breaks.
LibraryThing member MerryMary
The very best thing about Jan Brett's books is her illustrations. The procession of animals moving into the mitten are both accurate and humorous, and the marginal pictures tell a secondary story that the children love to find.
LibraryThing member clstone
'The Mitten' by Jan Brett is a folktale about a boy named Nicki that begs his Baba (grandmother) to knit him a pair of white mittens. Baba tells Nicki that he will drop the mittens in the snow and not be able to find them. Finally, Baba knits Nicki a pair of white mittens and Nicki drops one in the
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snow. All the animals of the forest find the mitten and squeeze in the one mitten to keep warm, including a bear. Soon, the bear sneezes when tickled by the mouse's wiskers and the mitten flies up in the air. Nicki sees his white mitten and returns home to Baba with both mittens.This is a wonderful folktale to read to all ages and students.
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LibraryThing member Katie20
This book is about a boy named Nicki who wanted new mittens made from wool that was as white as snow. Baba, his grandmother told him that she did not want to make white mittens because he would lose them. Baba made them anyways. Baba said that when Nicki went out to play she is going to check if he
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was safe and his white mittens were still there. A mole saw the mitten and burrowed inside. A rabbit also moved in with the mole because it was a cozy warm mitten. A hedge hog next came and he burrowed in the mitten. An owl also came along and they let him in because of his long talons. A badger also came and tried to move in. They let him into the mitten of course. Then came a fox, and he was let into the mitten too. The bear came along and tried to come in, but they all thought there was no room. Then came a field mouse that laid on the bears nose. All of a sudden the bear gave a big sneeze and forced the mitten up in the air letting all the animals out. Nicki saw the white mitten floating in the sky. Nicki still had his mitten and Baba saw that he made it safe and with his new mittens.
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LibraryThing member smmote
This book is about a young Ukrainian boy named Nicki who wants his grandmother, Baba, to knit snow-white mittens for him. She warns him that if he loses one, it will be difficult to find in the white snow, but he insists on her still making them. Nicki's lost mitten went through several animals
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finding it before it got back to him, so it was stretched out once he got it back but atleast it was found.
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LibraryThing member Necampos
Reading Level 3.0

The Mitten is such a fun book for winter time. It has such cute animals who all find this mitten and try to make it their home. It is fun to think of all these animals cramming together inside of a tiny mitten, and for kids to pretend things are inside of their mittens. The mitten
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lands back in the hands of the little boy, but stretched and larger than the other one. It is fun to read to kids because they know why it is stretched out, yet the little boy does not.
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LibraryThing member adwirth
Nikki always wanted snow-white mittens and when his grandmother finally made them, he lost one in the snow. Nikki’s mitten became more than just a snow-white mitten from his grandmother.
LibraryThing member mlcrofford
The Mitten is a fun creative children's book. The mitten is about a young boy whose grandmother's sews him some white mittens. He looses the mittens in the snow and in turn they become home to many wildlife animals. With all the animals the mitten continues to stretch but the grandmothers careful
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sewing holds strong for the animals. The young boy finally finds his mitten and the animals scatter, the grandmother then notices the size the mitten has stretched too. Very cute story line, great illustrations and would be a fun winter time book to read. One lesson taught can be: grandmothers (or elders) are wise and knew from the start the white mitten would be lost in the snow.
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Nebraska Golden Sower Award (Nominee — 1992)
Kentucky Bluegrass Award (Nominee — Grades K-3 — 1991)
Buckeye Children's & Teen Book Award (Nominee — Grades K-2 — 1993)
Flicker Tale Award (Nominee — Picture Books — 1992)


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

10.62 x 8.69 inches


039921920X / 9780399219207
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