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The Mitten: Book Club Wrap Up week

Andrea Sanchez

I had more than one thing I wanted to share with our final look at The Mitten. Today I'm going to be sharing two other versions of this classic story and later this week we will have one more activity for you. 

The Mitten: An Old Ukranian Folktale by Alvin Tresselt is probably my favorite version of this story. But here's the weird thing. I can't quite tell you why. The illustrations in this version are very unique and differ quite a bit from the Jan Brett version. The mitten the boy has is not knit (although he refers to his grandmother knitting him new mittens at home throughout the story). There is a larger cast of animal characters inhabiting this mitten although of course, the outcome is quite similar! 

One thing that always makes me laugh in this story is the thing I share with my students each year after we read the first version: How can you go out and play in the snow and not realize until you're coming home that you've lost a mitten?! They all agree with me (these are Midwestern kids!) and Tresselt points that out in this story as well. 

The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth is the third version I like to share with my students. In this version the boy's grandmother not only knit him mittens, but a scarf and hat to match! And the illustrator, Barbara McClintock, has actually drawn them to look knit. It's fantastic! This story has fewer characters than the first two but it makes for a great opportunity to compare and contrast the stories. 

One thing I really like in this last version that is done in the Tresselt version as well is the predictable text. The animals in both versions respond to each new animal by shouting the same thing ("No room!"). This is a great opportunity to have  little ones read along with the story. Also in this version, the animals ask to come in for the same reason (their feet are cold as ice, duh.). 

We have had so much fun this month both here at home and in the classroom reading the mitten. I don't think there will be a day where I can give up sharing this story with little ones! Have you read any other versions? Which is your favorite?

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