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The Mitten: An Old Ukrainian Folktale
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The Mitten: An Old Ukrainian Folktale

4.07 of 5 stars 4.07  ·  rating details  ·  282 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Deep in the woods on the coldest day of winter a little boy drops his mitten. And that lost mitten stretches and stretches -- and stretches -- to provide shelter for many woodland creatures. A Ukrainian folk tale.
Paperback, 40 pages
Published October 26th 1989 by HarperCollins (first published January 1st 1964)
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The Mitten by Alvin TresseltMy Whispers of Horror by Olga BrineKobzar by Taras ShevchenkoUkrainian Folk Tales by Irina ZheleznovaVisiting Your Ancestral Town by Carolyn Schott
1st out of 17 books — 12 voters
Over and Under the Snow by Kate MessnerWaiting for Winter by Sebastian MeschenmoserThe Mitten by Jan BrettOwl Moon by Jane YolenLost and Found by Oliver Jeffers
Picture Books About Snow Animals
23rd out of 109 books — 19 voters

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Community Reviews

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Now, let me say from the start that, having read Jan Brett's version first, I prefer it. And unless your home library is enormous, you probably don't need both books. However, as the comments here show, many people prefer this version, which predates Brett's version by quite a while. If you can get your hands on both, do so - keep one for yourself and donate the other to a local school!

This story is a great classic. A boy loses his mitten in the woods, a series of progressively larger animals cl
Jennifer Elgin
“The Mitten” is a Ukrainian folktale as retold by Alvin Tresselt and is designed for students in kindergarten and above. This folktale tells the story of a young man who is out in the woods, gathering wood for his grandmother, when he unknowingly drops one of his mittens, leaving it behind. A mouse finds the mitten, and in order to keep warm, makes a home in the mitten. Then a frog walks by wanting the share the mitten, as do various other animals, increasing in size respectively. When a bear wa ...more
Heather Wright
This folktale book is for children from 3-12 years old. "The Mitten" is about a little boy who went to get firewood for his grandmother and on this way home as he is dragging a sleigh full of wood he lost his mitten. The mitten becomes a home to all different kinds of animals because it was cold outside, so the animals were climbing in the mitten to keep warm. This book was very interesting to me. The plot was letting all the different animals coming together to stay warm in a mitten. The colors ...more
Emily Miller
This story is a traditional Ukranian tale about a boy who loses his mitten in the woods. Throughout the story various animals find the mitten and crawl inside for a warm place to stay. I like how in the beginning of the story the author says how a boy could lose a mitten on the coldest day is something he does not know, but that is the way his grandfather told the story. This shows the audience that this is a tale that has been passed down from generation to generation. Because there are several ...more
Ruth Sophia
A keeper

This is one library book I hope to add to our home library.

A classic Ukrainian folktale told to children. I love how the author states this unlikely tale as fact because his grandfather told him it happened - and at the very last says his grandfather never knew what happened to his mitten! Even children understand this technique! The illustrations are both rich and simple. The pages are not busy, but the animals seeking refuge are all clad in traditional Ukrainian garb, and speak civill
Janet Xue
The Mitten written by Alvin Tresselt and illustrated by Yaroslava is a 40 pages Ukrainian folktale picture book about a young boy who went to the woods on the coldest day to help his grandma to gather firewoods. When he was done collecting firewoods, he walks back to his grandma’s house and on his way one of his mittens dropped out from his coat pocket. A mouse was walking by sees the mitten and walk inside to keep herself warm. A while later, a frog hopped over and ask if he can join her and sh ...more
I loved this book. It shows the creative stories which may be told when you lose something such as the boy who lost his mitten in this book. In this book a boy is collecting firewood when he looses a mitten. In order to keep warm, animals start crawling inside the mitten to avoid the snowstorm outside. However, they push the mitten too far and it tears at the seam. It was a fun story to read and funny as well. I especially enjoyed the simplistic illustrations in the book.
Sydney Klimas
I enjoyed this book and I think it is a very valuable one for kids to read. I think this is a good book to teach kids a lesson on sharing. It's about a kid who loses his mitten, and some animals keep warm by getting in the mitten. When too many animals get in the mitten, it breaks. It's a cute story that could be read to kids around pre-K or kindergarten. I don't know if I would have this in my classroom but I would recommend it.
A little boy loses his mitten in the snow while gathering fire-wood. Some forest animals -starting with a mouse and getting larger - make the mitten their shelter from the cold.

I know I read into things quite a bit, and maybe I'm reading into this folk-tale too much, but since nobody else that I can see has mentioned it...

I'm wondering if the folk tale is symbolic of Ukraine itself. (I thought of this most when the bear showed up... in Eastern European jokes, the bear almost always represents Ru
An imaginative account of what happens when you lose a mitten. The story is told as though it has been passed down from person to person, generation to generation. I tend to like that element in books. It gives them a folkloric or urban legend(ic?) feel. In this case, a bunch of animals inhabit this lost item. My favorite part about the animals is that they are all dressed in various and sundry Ukrainian outfits. Maybe things are different in the Ukraine. I also continue to be surprised by how m ...more
Angelina Perez
A young boy looses is gathering firewood for his grandmother. The young boy losses his mitten. A small mouse finds the mitten and decides to make a home from it, a frog comes along and the mouse invites the frog in since its very cold outside. Then an owl comes by and asks if he could join them. A rabbit, fox, wolf, boar, and a bear mange to stuff themselves inside the mitten. A small cricket comes along and says that she too can fit inside the mitten. The mitten came apart and all the animals w ...more
I love the illustrations in this - there so simple and yet intricate at the same time. I didn't think someone could rival Jan Brett, but I love the illustrations for completely different reasons
Sarina Daul
I remember reading this when I was younger and absolutely loved it. Today, I can see the how it can be ridiculous for those big animals to fit into a small mitten, but it is still a favorite.
Dawn Hooks
This is the book that I held in my arms as I slept when I was a little girl. The character and story filled my dreams. I loved the book then and I still do.
Judi Paradis
Jan Brett gets all the credit--but this is my favorite. It was one of my favorite books as a child, and I noticed in comparing the 2 stories, that while Brett's animals all move over because each new animal coming to the mitten is predatory and alarms the animals already in the mitten--in Tressalt's version the animals are motivated by kindness--it is a very cold day and how can they refuse shelter to a fellow beast? I also love the cold blue background and wonderfully dressed creatures. And the ...more
Angie Quantrell
I love the sparse color of this classic. Love to read it and compare it to other versions.
Marta Rodriguez
Prefer Jan Brett's original so much more... The illustrations even tell the story better.
Tara Adams
I had read The Mitten by Jan Brett before, but was unaware of this one today. In my school, I see K - 3 grades in groups for exploratory classes. We were doing an art project, but my kindergartners finished early and I grabbed this book off the shelf for a quick enhancement to our lesson. The kids were thrilled with it. One of the girls pointed out that there were only two colors on some of our pages (like our art project!). I could not have planned it better. I enjoyed the illustrations just as ...more
I was thrilled to see a reprint of this in the bookstore yesterday. We had it when I was a kid and I've been trying to figure out what it was for years--I knew it wasn't the Jan Brett version, which I don't really like. I loved the illustrations, which have an excellent fairy-tale-like quality, with a (to me) exotic and mysterious feel. The animals are anthropomorphic but still look like themselves. Pick this up for a gift, if you want something that's less typical (I have a friend whose baby go ...more
Dec 02, 2011 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Shelves: childrens, ukraine, 2011
This is an entertaining retelling of the Ukrainian tale - it has an old fashioned feel to it, which makes sense as it was first published in 1964. The illustrations are not nearly as colorful or detailed as the versions of this story by Jan Brett and Jim Aylesworth, but I liked this version, too.
we much prefer the Jan Brett version
mitten is destroyed by the animals in this one
pretty illustrations
Reminded me of the story about the kid who gets a jacket from his grandparent but he outgrows it and they keep making it into something smaller. I can't remember the name, it was a really cute story--if anyone knows what I am talking about let me know!

Anyway, back to this book. Cute book about a lost mitten and what happened to it after it was lost. My little kids thought is was a funny little story.
Danielle Simmons
I love the little animals in this book! They all trust each other, when your reading this your like do not trust that fox or wolf but nothing like what your expecting even happens. These little animals come together to get warm even though they are all different they help out to stay warm in the thick snow. The little boys mitten was just gone to him, but to these little critters it was so much more!
Feb 07, 2008 Mary rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids 3 & up
Read to my grandson. It was a favorite that I used to read to my story time kids in the public library25 years ago. I love the story. He wanted it read over many times. His folks were sick of the story by the time it was due back at the library. They had to read it every day; I read it maybe 3 times to him.
Diana Pettis
Today I read this book to both Xavier and Xander and they both enjoyed it. They could relate to the concept of loosing a mitten and not knowing where it was. They also liked how the animals worked together inside the mitten. You'll be surprised at what happens to the mitten. Read to find out!!!
A little boy goes out to collect firewood and loses one of his mittens. Different animals come across the mitten and climb inside to stay warm. But will it fit all the animals?

Great tale to compare with the other versions. Maybe have students vote for their favorite mitten story.
Elizabeth Schrank
This is a story about a boy who loses his mitten. Many animals gather together and get inside the mitten to stay warm in the snow. Although the animals are all different, they work together and trust each other to get through the hard times.
Alvin Tresselt, accompanied with illustrations by Yaroslava, is not only a wonderful retelling of an old Ukrainian tale, but maintains the orality of the folk-tale. The simple illustrations don't overwhelm the tale,but complement it.
Stephanie Sapp
Enjoyable folktale that pairs well with other versions of The Mitten. I also enjoy sharing the simple pictures and explaining the use or lack of colors in this 1960's version. A Ukranian folktale.
Becky B
A child's mitten is lost in the woods and is used by the forest creatures.

This is a great picture book to compare and contrast with Jan Brett's more famous version of the same story.
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Alvin Tresselt (1916-2000) was born in New Jersey. He was an editor for Humpty Dumpty magazine and an executive editor for Parent’s Magazine Press before becoming an instructor and the Dean of Faculty for the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut. He wrote over thirty children’s books, selling over a million copies. Although White Snow, Bright Snow won the Caldecott Medal in 1948, his ...more
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