When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing.
One by one, woodland animals find it and crawl in; first, a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse and what happens next makes for a wonderfully funny climax.
As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki's snowy outing in the borders of each page.
In her distinctive style, Jan Brett brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition from which the story comes.
Jan Brett is also the creator of such wintery classics as The Hat, The Snowy Nap, The Three Snow Bears, The Animals' Santa, and The Night Before Christmas.
This book is also available in Spanish, as El mitón.
"Grandmother knits snow-white mittens that Nikki takes on an adventure. Readers will enjoy the charm and humor in the portrayal of the animals as they make room for each newcomer in the mitten and sprawl in the snow after the big sneeze."
-The Horn Book
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About the Author
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I remember the special quiet of rainy days when I felt that I could enter the pages of my beautiful picture books. Now I try to recreate that feeling of believing that the imaginary place I'm drawing really exists. The detail in my work helps to convince me, and I hope others as well, that such places might be real."
As a student at the Boston Museum School, she spent hours in the Museum of Fine Arts. "It was overwhelming to see the room-size landscapes and towering stone sculptures, and then moments later to refocus on delicately embroidered kimonos and ancient porcelain," she says. "I'm delighted and surprised when fragments of these beautiful images come back to me in my painting."
Travel is also a constant inspiration. Together with her husband, Joe Hearne, who is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Jan visits many different countries where she researches the architecture and costumes that appear in her work. "From cave paintings to Norwegian sleighs, to Japanese gardens, I study the traditions of the many countries I visit and use them as a starting point for my children's books."
Read an Excerpt
By Jan Brett
Putnam Publishing GroupCopyright © 1998 Jan Brett
All right reserved.
Chapter OneOnce there was a boy named Nicki. He wanted mittens as white as snow.
"If you drop a white mitten in the snow, it will be hard to find," his grandmother told him.
But Nicki wanted snow-white mittens so much that Baba made them for him.
When she finished knitting, Nicki trot on the mittens and went out to play.
It wasn't long before one mitten fell off.
A little mole found it and crawled inside. It was just the right size, so he decided to stay.
A rabbit came hopping by. He wiggled in next to the mole.
A hedgehog wanted to get warm. The mole and the rabbit made room for him.
The owl didn't want to be left out. So the mole, the rabbit, and the hedgehog had to move over. The little mitten was getting crowded.
A badger looked out of his house and saw the mitten. He climbed right in.
It started to snow, so a fox pushed his way in and made himself right at home.
Then a big bear sniffed at the mitten. The animals were packed in tight, but the bear didn't care.
He crawled in anyway. The mitten was getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Then a tiny mouse squeezed in and perched herself on the big bear's nose.
The mouse's whiskers tickled the bear's nose. "Aaaaa-aaaaa-ca-chew!" the bear sneezed. All the animals flew out of the mitten.
Excerpted from Mittens by Jan Brett Copyright © 1998 by Jan Brett. Excerpted by permission.
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