“A good bedtime tale for a cold winter night.”—School Library Journal
One snowy day an elderly woman, Sarah, watches children gathering at the bus stop. While they never seem to notice her, she notices them, especially one little boy who has no mittens. That night, Sarah knits the boy a pair of cozy mittens and places them on the blue spruce tree for him to discover. It soon becomes a game, with the children looking for new mittens on the mysterious tree every morning, and Sarah joyfully knitting new ones each night. With its touching message and delightful illustrations, adults and children will enjoy this intergenerational tale for years to come.
Candace Christiansen grew up in the Hudson River Valley and was educated at the College of Saint Rose and Cornell University. She has been a teacher of chemistry, math, weaving, and spinning at the Hawthorne Valley School for twenty years and is currently the head of the Fiber Department at Sugar Maples Center for Creative Arts.
Elaine Greenstein began making children’s books about fifteen years ago and is the author and illustrator of the popular Ice Cream Cones for Sale. She lives with her husband, Jose, in Brooklyn, New York.
About the Author
Candace Christiansen grew up in the Hudson River Valley. Educated at the College of Saint Rose and Cornell University, she became interested in weaving and fiber arts while living in South Westerlo, New York, where she raised four children and forty sheep. Elaine Greenstein began making children's books about 15 years ago and is the author and illustrator of the popular Ice Cream Cones for Sale. Currently, she is working on a book about Konrad Lorenz. Greenstein also had stints as a pastry chef and a sculptor. She lives with her husband, Jose, in Brooklyn, New York.
Read an Excerpt
At the end of a long lane, in a tidy little house, old Sarah lived alone. Her children had grown up and moved away, but Sarah still remembered the mornings when she walked with them to the blue spruce tree where they waited for the school bus. Now each morning she opened her shutters and watched for new children to arrive.
Every chilly morning Sarah pulled on her warm coat and started down the lane. As she walked past the children on her way to the mailbox, she wished they would smile or wave. But they never did. The children didn't even seem to notice her. Still, when she saw them she couldn't help but smile.
One winter morning after the first snow had fallen, all the children were making snowmen and throwing snowballs. All except for one little boy in a blue cap and coat. Even his boots were a dark shade of blue.
He stood away from the others with his hands sunk deep in his pockets.
When the school bus arrived, he lingered behind and was last in line. As Sarah watched the little boy climb into the bus, she could see one thing — he had no mittens.
All that day Sarah couldn't stop worrying about the little boy with no mittens. Late in the afternoon, as the sky grew dark, Sarah dug through the basket of yarn scraps she had saved for many years. She found her needles and four shades of blue wool. Then, Sarah began to knit.
Sarah worked late into the night. When the sun began to rise, she hurried to the bus stop and hung the mittens on the old blue spruce tree. From behind the hedge, Sarah watched.
The little boy was the first to arrive. He saw the mittens. He reached up and tried them on. They fit. With a big smile, he made a perfect snowball and threw it high into the winter sky.
Soon a little girl in a red coat arrived. Her mittens didn't match. That night Sarah knitted with red yarn.
Every day now as Sarah went to the mailbox, she watched for children without mittens. Then she would hurry home and knit. Early in the morning, she would hangthe new mittens on the tree. The children loved the game. Each day they would search under every branch and bough for another pair of mittens.
Once or twice, Sarah thought that the boy with the blue mittens had seen her, but he always looked away.
Excerpted from "The Mitten Tree"
Copyright © 2009 Candace Christiansen.
Excerpted by permission of Fulcrum Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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