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January Book Club

Andrea Sanchez

I am super excited to share this month's book club pick! I think it's one of those stories that once you hear it, becomes near and dear to a knitter's heart. This month we will be featuring The Mitten by Jan Brett (affiliate link). 

If you have never read this story I suggest you run out and get a copy right now! And then get a second copy because you'll be sad if something happens to the first. You know I teach kindergarten so of course I have multiples of certain titles. The Mitten is one of those stories. I probably have 4 copies in my classroom for student use, a hardcover, and then we have the board book version at home as well. 

In this precious story, Jan Brett retells the folktale of Nikki who begs his grandmother to knit him mittens that are white like the snow. She finally agrees and as soon as he's out of the house, Nikki drops one in the snow just like his grandmother feared. Despite his misfortune, a wide range of forest animals use the opportunity to take shelter and warm up in the mitten (love the line, "But Baba's good knitting held fast." You get it, Baba!). I won't give away the end, because kids just love that part, but eventually there are just too many animals for the mitten and Nikki manages to find his mitten again, although a bit worse for wear. 

One of the things that really makes Brett's books feel so special are the gorgeous illustrations she does. Each page is bright and vibrant with additional sidebar illustrations giving hints as to what else is happening at the same time, or what is to come. Besides being amazing to look at (it's a great opportunity to have children use the pictures to explain what is happening or recall an event), they also really help with making predictions ("what animal do you think will try to get in the mitten next?").

As I mentioned before, we have the board book at home. I LOVE board books for babies and toddlers but will warn, this is an abridged version of the original story. Still worth a look though. D loves it but this year we will be reading the hardcover version at home as well. There are also several other versions that we will look at here on the blog in the upcoming weeks.

Over the next few weeks I have a few great wintery ideas to share with you (even if you live where there is no snow! I'm totally jealous by the way!). Of course there will be a mitten pattern, which will be available hopefully before the end of next week. Stay tuned for some fun stuff and go check out a copy of The Mitten!