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The Picture-Book Club > December 2010: Discuss Our "Winter" Club Reads Here

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message 1: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Nov 19, 2010 10:54AM) (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Here are the books we'll be reading for December:

The Trees of the Dancing Goats

Owl Moon

Waiting for Winter

The Mitten*

Winter Is the Warmest Season

And a sixth/alternate title (which also happens to be non-fiction):
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder

Thanks to all who voted. As it turns out, the votes were mostly for winter-themed books, so for those seeking more holiday titles, please see the threads in our Holiday/Seasonal folder for

Christmas
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/2...

and Hanukkah
http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/4...

Okay, I hope everyone has a chance to get these books (or order them, or place holds/ILL) before the Thanksgiving library closures (for those of us in the US, that is) and that we'll all be able to read the majority of these titles together come December ;-)

*Please note that there are a variety of versions for "The Mitten" I believe the votes came in for the Jan Brett version but if your library does not have that one, consider other versions such as that illustrated by Jim Aylesworth.


message 2: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Yay! This looks like a fabulous list, Kathryn! And I'm so glad Waiting for Winter made the cut - it really does deserve to be better known!"

I'm especially delighted because it's *finally* at my library so I can read it at last--and with the group :-)


message 3: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
I've place holds at the library for The Trees of the Dancing Goats, Owl Moon and Winter Is the Warmest Season, as well as Waiting for Winter and the Jim Aylesworth version of The Mitten (the one by Jan Brett is on order, so it is too recent to try to get it through ILL). The same holds true for The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder (it is too recent for ILL requests, at our library, ILL requests need to be have been published more than 24 months ago). I'm looking forward to reading and discussing the books I have been able to locate at the library.


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Yay! I've already read The Trees of the Dancing Goats and The Story of Snow (I think both 5 stars from me) and Owl Moon (I think 4 stars from me)

and I just reserved the Jan Brett edition of The Mitten at my library and from our LINK+ system (crossing my fingers they'll come through) Winter Is the Warmest Season and Waiting for Winter. The latter I'm particularly excited to read.

It looks like we've got another fabulous month of books for this club.

Thanks for organizing everything, Kathryn!!!


message 5: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments Great list!


message 6: by Brenda (new)

Brenda | 192 comments Looking forward to this months list. I may be starting it a little later in the month but will try to get in my reviews.


message 7: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6685 comments Mod
Abigail wrote: "Yay! This looks like a fabulous list, Kathryn! And I'm so glad Waiting for Winter made the cut - it really does deserve to be better known!"


Yes - my library doesn't know it yet... :(

I think I'll be able to get all the others, though.


message 8: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
So happy that there is success, more or less, on obtaining the books for next month! I'm very excited :-)


message 9: by Denise (new)

Denise | 2 comments This looks like a fantastic list and I can't wait to begin reading these winter stories.


message 10: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Great list Kathryn!! I've been meaning to read Owl Moon for awhile now!


message 11: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
I hope everyone had success getting some/all of the books for this month, especially given library closures over Thanksgiving here in the US. I have most of the books on hand now and am eager to start our discussion :-)


message 12: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments I got to start getting this books right now! So far I got Owl Moon, so I'm going to read it this weekend.


message 13: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments I actually read The Mitten a few months ago and I really enjoyed it! It thought it was really cute about how all the animals (a fox, a bear, a hedgehog and so on) all tried to fit into one small mitten and I really loved the ending of the book as it was hilarious and it was something you would never expect to happen! I would definitely recommend this book to absolutely anyone who loves folktales and cute animals!


message 14: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Ronyell wrote: "I got to start getting this books right now! So far I got Owl Moon, so I'm going to read it this weekend."

I really loved that story, the idea of going bird watching at night. Not sure wether I agree with the father shining a flashlight at the owl, though. But still, when one considers that even for ornithologists, birding used to mean collecting eggs, nests and killing and stuffing birds, the type of birding described in Yolen's story is really much more preferable.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I'd already read The Trees of the Dancing Goats and The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder.

For this group I recently read Owl Moon and The Mitten (Jan Brett's version).

Waiting for Winter and Winter Is the Warmest Season are in transit to me. I'm hoping they'll be ready for pickup by Thursday. Otherwise, I'll probably have to wait to pick them up until early next week.


message 16: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Gundula wrote: "Ronyell wrote: "I got to start getting this books right now! So far I got Owl Moon, so I'm going to read it this weekend."

I really loved that story, the idea of going bird watching at night. Not..."


I agree with you about how it's better that the book is all about a simple bird watching rather than dealing with shooting owls since they are nearly extinct (I think).


message 17: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6685 comments Mod
Most kinds of owls aren't endangered - but still, there's little to justify shooting them.


message 18: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "Most kinds of owls aren't endangered - but still, there's little to justify shooting them."

I think the only owls that are currently really endangered are burrowing owls because they tend to make their nests (burrows under ground) on fields commonly used for farming (I think some of the barn owls are endangered as well). But, as you have stated, there is absolutely no reason to shoot or kill owls, they are beautiful animals and provide a very important service as they keep the rodent population in check. Sorry for the off-topic remark, I love birds!!


message 19: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments Cheryl wrote: "Most kinds of owls aren't endangered - but still, there's little to justify shooting them."

yeah, I agree. It's still not right to shoot them for game.


message 20: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6685 comments Mod
I just read The Trees of the Dancing Goats. Here's what I said in my review: I dunno. Yes it's an important message and all, but to me it's more of a 'should read' than a 'want to read' - like so many of the 'classics' we were pushed to read in school. Neither the pictures, the story, or the idea charmed or delighted me. Sorry.

I'd really like to know what children think of it!


message 21: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Dec 01, 2010 02:47PM) (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I just read The Trees of the Dancing Goats. Here's what I said in my review: I dunno. Yes it's an important message and all, but to me it's more of a 'should read' than a 'want to read..."

Oh, that's too bad. I hope you'll enjoy the other books this month.

I really liked The Trees of the Dancing Goats! I read it last year and thought it was wonderful; a five-star for me for sure. For me, it's one of those truly heartwarming stories that focuses on what the holidays, religion, and humanity are supposed to be about. I liked the idea behind it and the harmony between the Jewish and Christian characters. And I thought it managed not to sound "preachy."

Has anyone else read it yet? I think there are a few of you who read this in years past, too? What did you think? Anyone read it with their kids/students? Like Cheryl, I'd like to know what kids think of this one.


message 22: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 01, 2010 07:08PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Well, for me personally, The Trees of the Dancing Goats was one of the absolute best Christmas/Hanukkah stories that I have ever read. I kind of agree with Cheryl that the illustrations were not that magical (at least not for me, they were/are not my style, they were nice enough in themselves, but I was not wowed by them), but I loved, simply loved the story (and will rate the book with five stars when I get around to writing my review).

I agree with Kathryn that it was a wonderful story that focusses on harmony, peace, religious tolerance, and being good neighbours, without being in any way preachy (I also loved the fact that while there was fear in Trisha's family that she might have become infected with scarlet fever, there was never any blame cast onto the sick neighbours, instead, the family did their best to make a happy Christmas for them, although it was not their tradition). I guess I would also like to know what children will think of this story, I absolutely adored it, but I am not a child, of course.


message 23: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Dec 02, 2010 07:59AM) (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
I read Owl Moon last night. I'd been looking forward to it for several months as Wilhelmina loves it so much so I was eager to try it myself. I really enjoyed it. The writing style was my favorite part--I thought it was very lyrical and I really enjoyed some of the diction selections; it was unusual without being jarring and really helped convey the mood, IMO.

I didn't like the illustrations quite so much--nothing "wrong" with them, they just weren't really my style. But, I did really appreciate the details; did you all notice the various animals "hiding" in the woods as the child and father looked for the owl? I thought it was neat seeing the other woodland creatures. I wondered if there was any subtle attempt to show that sometimes, when you are looking so hard for one thing, you miss other wonderful things right in front of you. But, the text never seemed to hint at that, so maybe not.

Anyway, I really enjoyed it and it definitely made me feel nice and wintery-cozy. And eager to hear our owl hooting outside ;-)


message 24: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Gundula wrote: "Well, for me personally, The Trees of the Dancing Goats was one of the absolute best Christmas/Hanukkah stories that I have ever read. I kind of agree with Cheryl that the illustrations were not that magical (at least not for me, they were/are not my style, they were nice enough in themselves, but I was not wowed by them), but I loved, simply loved the story (and will rate the book with five stars when I get around to writing my review)."

I am glad you liked it so much!

You know, it's funny about Polacco's illustrations; they are not really my cup of tea, either, in that I don't think I would be drawn to her style in and of itself; but I think they fit so well with her stories that I end up being quite attached to them ;-)


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Polacco's books. She has a very distinct style that I feel fits her stories. And her stories are always little gems. I can't think of any of her books that I have disliked.


message 26: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Kathryn wrote: "You know, it's funny about Polacco's illustrations; they are not really my cup of tea, either, in that I don't think I would be drawn to her style in and of itself; but I think they fit so well with her stories that I end up being quite attached to them ;-) "

I think that she is my favorite picture book author, but I agree with this! It's funny, because I think she considers herself primarily an artist.


message 27: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6685 comments Mod
just to clarify, the idea behind the story Trees... was wonderful, the community kindness is of course a perfect theme - I just wasn't wowed by the presentation...

My library hasn't given me the rest yet but I'm sure they will soon.


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments I came in here to see who first nominated Waiting for Winter. Thank you, Abigail! I just read it and loved it. I still have one more of the six books to read (today!) and then I'll come back and comment on all of them.

But, I just couldn't wait for this book. Amazing illustrations, that are beautiful and funny, and an entertaining sweet and very amusing story. Loved it!


message 29: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "I came in here to see who first nominated Waiting for Winter. Thank you, Abigail! I just read it and loved it. I still have one more of the six books to read (today!) and then I'll c..."

I'm so happy that my library finally has a copy of this book! It is in my hands at last and I look forward to reading it very soon :-)


message 30: by Cheryl , Newbery Club host (new)

Cheryl  (cherylllr) | 6685 comments Mod
I just read Winter Is the Warmest Season, the only one that came in for me today. Love it! Wonderful message about how our happiness, or our sense of comfort, is all about our attitude. Our joy is our own. And this lucky child has an infectious joy that did indeed speak to me.


message 31: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Cheryl wrote: "I just read Winter Is the Warmest Season, the only one that came in for me today. Love it! Wonderful message about how our happiness, or our sense of comfort, is all about our attitu..."

I loved the book as well, it warms your heart, your toes, your spirit, your entire body. If more children (and more adults) possessed this kind of joy, this kind of loving and exuberant attitude, the world would be a much "warmer" place.


message 32: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan (lisavegan) | 1077 comments Okay, I've now read them all. I'm too lazy (and don't have the time) to go back and look at all my reviews in order to make more useful comments (sorry) but perhaps as the month goes on and the discussion gets going I'll chime in more about each specific book.

I adored The Trees of the Dancing Goats. It's an incredibly touching story and one of my favorite types of books from Polacco: those that make me tear up with emotion. For me it's a perfect Hanukkah/Christmas story.

Waiting for Winter has some of the best illustrations I've ever seen: funny and pretty and wintry. The story is so sweet and it's hilarious at points. I think it's the perfect winter book.

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder is a wonderful science book for kids and fits our theme very well.

Winter Is the Warmest Season is perfect for a cozy family read, and it brought back a lot of memories, even though most years I was not in a snowy climate in wintertime, a few years I have been. It was very clever, and apparently thanks to the author-illustrator's youngest child, who sparked it with their spontaneous comments.

I was surprised by how much I liked The Mitten (Jan Brett version) because I hadn't been looking forward to it, but I thought it was wonderful. I now have on reserve at the library the Aylesworth/McClintock version.)

I liked Owl Moon, but I did think the father's facial expression was too fierce (the owl's made sense) and I didn't like what the father did to attract the owl to show itself; it seemed like teasing to me. But it was a lovely story and I liked many of the illustrations.

More later, but I wanted to say just a bit now.

So, yes, another great month's worth of books for this club!


message 33: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments Tonight I read The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth and I own the Jan Brett version and read it a few days ago. I love them both. I love Jan Brett's illustrations and was probably more wowed by her artwork. But my 7 yo said she really loved the illustrations on the first page of the Aylesworth book because each picture had a "frame" around it. It was fun to see the differences... the color of mitten, what animals climb in and what happens to the mitten in the end, for example. Aylesworth was fun because it was a sort of cumulative tale, which I often enjoy and find wonderful for young children and beginning readers. They were both great and I'm glad I read each of them. (And I was so excited because I was able to get a Jan Brett collection--hardcover with 4 winter stories--for oly $18 instead of the normal price of $45...)

I read The Trees of the Dancing Goats to my 3rd grade class last year. We all liked it. I am planning to reread it and then I'll comment more. But I love Polacco...particularly her stories based on her own life.

Waiting for Winter was interesting, because the illustrations weren't the type that I would usually love... But they were absolutely perfect for that story. I ended up loving this one even though I hadn't expected to at first glance.

Winter Is the Warmest Season was fabulous too. It had my 7 yo arguing...but no, summer is the warmest! And for someone (me) who grew up in AZ and now lives in UT and who hates the cold, it made me see all the "warm" things about winter that there are to be grateful for. I still hate being cold...but I can see that there are good things about winter. I like the idea of being "warm inside" even if you are cold outside. I agree wholeheartedly with both Cheryl and Gundula's comments about this book. It's a treasure.

Back in a couple of days to talk about the others. I"ve read Owl Moon several times but it's been a long time so I'll reread it before commenting.


message 34: by Ronyell (new)

Ronyell (rabbitearsblog) | 213 comments I loved The Mitten too Jenny!!! Especially Jan Brett's version since I loved it when she illustrates what is going to happen next at the edges of the pages. I haven't read the Aylesworth version yet though.


message 35: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 05, 2010 10:10AM) (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Okay, I've now read them all. I'm too lazy (and don't have the time) to go back and look at all my reviews in order to make more useful comments (sorry) but perhaps as the month goes on and the dis..."

Lisa, I did not mind so much that in Owl Moon, the father and the girl were calling the owl to attract it, but the fact that the father shone a flashlight at the owl bothered me quite a bit. Being nocturnal, owls have eyes specifically made for seeing well at night, and I could imagine that having a bright flashlight shone at them could temporarily blind an owl. Other than that, I really enjoyed the book, both the story and the illustrations. The book not only has a wonderful story, it captures the quiet and mysterious atmosphere of the winter woods at night almost perfectly. And, I love the fact that "owling" does not in any way entail hunting the birds, but simply observing them (now, if only the father had not used a flashlight, I would be giving this book five stars ...).


message 36: by Wilhelmina (new)

Wilhelmina Jenkins | 229 comments I absolutely love Owl Moon. My grandson and I read this book before nap time in his pre-school years more times than I could begin to count. First, the language is amazing. Yolen evokes the silence and the cold masterfully. Second. I loved that, although adults can figure out that the chld was supposed to be a girl, all bundled up against the cold, the child could be a boy or a girl - and to the story, it doesn't matter. Going out owling with the father was a privilege to be earned by maturity, not gender. The child in the book is ready to pursue this experience with her father because she understood and was ready to do what was necessary - as the story says, "you have to be quiet and make your own heat" and "you have to be brave." This is not a warm-and-cuddly father. This is a father with high expectations for his child and her ability to discipline herself to obtain her goal. And the child realizes that there are no guarantees when it comes to nature - "...sometimes there's an owl and sometimes there isn't." I don't know the reality of what happens when an owl is caught by a flashlight, but within the story (and, let's face it, this is as close as most of us will get to owling!), there is a mutuality between the owl and the father - a call that is answered; a time of staring at each other. And when the owl is ready, he flies on.

And I find the end of the story to be absolutely perfect:

"When you go owling
you don't need words
or warm
or anything but hope.
That's what Pa says.
The kind of hope
that flies
on silent wings
under a shining
Owl Moon"

Beautiful!


message 37: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I absolutely love Owl Moon. My grandson and I read this book before nap time in his pre-school years more times than I could begin to count. First, the language is amazing. Yolen evok..."

I wish my father had taken me "owling" I would have love doing something like that. When I was a teenager, I used to go out by myself on cold winter nights with my binoculars (my parents live outside of Calgary) and look at the moon and stars and listen for the coyotes. Reading the book gave me the same sort of feeling, cold, but warm, silent, and mysterious, where every sound is music, and the coyotes serenade the moon; the atmosphere is/was just so evocative.


message 38: by Denise (new)

Denise | 2 comments I enjoyed all of the Winter selections, my favorite was Waiting for Winter. As a matter of fact, I took it to school and read it to all the Kindergarten and First grade classes that came in to the library last week. They got a big kick out of it and loved being in the "know" as to what snow is.

My second favorite was The Mitten. I loved the thought of those animals all squishing into the mitten, with the last page showing each mitten and the one being all stretched out.

Finally I enjoyed Winter Is the Warmest Season. It brought back a lot of childhood memories. My daughter and I read it together and she thought it was great.


message 39: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I reread Owl Moon today. My 7 yo said she wanted to go owling...maybe I'll have to figure out if that's even a possibility... at least we can go bird watching during the day....and Wilhemina your description of why you love it makes me love it even more. Jane Yolen did use the perfect language, didn't she...and you also eloquently expressed what you love about it.


message 40: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "I like the idea of being "warm inside" even if you are cold outside. I agree wholeheartedly with both Cheryl and Gundula's comments about this book. It's a treasure."

Me, too! I thought Winter Is the Warmest Season was just lovely and I enjoyed the spirit of the story and the thankfulness associated with everything, and the juxtaposition of the summer/winter activities and foods and such. I felt really "warm" snuggled up under blankets on the couch reading this book while a rainy winter storm gusted outside :-)


message 41: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Wilhelmina wrote: "I absolutely love Owl Moon. My grandson and I read this book before nap time in his pre-school years more times than I could begin to count. First, the language is amazing. Yolen evok..."

Wilhelmina, I really can't say it better than you have so I won't even try! I am not sure the book held that very special connection for me that it does for you and your grandson, but I still really, really enjoyed it and deeply appreciate everything that you discussed so eloquently :-) I'm very glad I read it.


message 42: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (last edited Dec 06, 2010 07:33AM) (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
Chandra wrote: "I'm also curious about the reality of 'owling'. I'm actually kind of scared of birds....and especially birds of prey like owls! Ha! And to be quite frank and expose my own vast ignorance on the ..."

I, too, am interested in owling after reading the book. To express *my* own vast ignorance, I didn't even realize that it was a pastime (sport? hobby?) before reading this book. I mean, I know there are birdwatchers but I guess I didn't realize there was a whole separate classification for those who search for owls specifically. It will be interesting to hear from anyone in the group who has done it--or ends up being inspired by the book to try it :-)


message 43: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Chandra wrote: "I'm also curious about the reality of 'owling'. I'm actually kind of scared of birds....and especially birds of prey like owls! Ha! And to be quite frank and expose my own vast i..."

I'm actually tempted to do some owling next summer. I think I have an Eastern Screech Owl in my old shed (I certainly hear it at night, it sounds like a ghost), but I don't know if I want to try it on my own, maybe I can inspire my boyfriend, but he does not share my passion for birds.


message 44: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Kathryn wrote: "Jenny wrote: "I like the idea of being "warm inside" even if you are cold outside. I agree wholeheartedly with both Cheryl and Gundula's comments about this book. It's a treasure."

Me, too! I thou..."


I think this book would be perfect for a read-aloud story time both at home and/or at school or the library. And, as an added activity, the children could be encouraged to find more reasons why winter is the warmest season.


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Chandra wrote: "I'm also curious about the reality of 'owling'. I'm actually kind of scared of birds....and especially birds of prey like owls! Ha! And to be quite frank and expose my own vast ignorance on the ..."

Have you been to see the bats in Austin? That was a marvelous experience when we were down there visiting some friends.


message 46: by Manybooks (last edited Dec 06, 2010 04:19PM) (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
I just read Waiting for Winter today, and wow, what an amazing story, with amazing illustrations. The humour in the story is addictive, while the facial expressions of the animals are simply to die for. I especially loved how the squirrel and the hedgehog tried to stay awake for the arrival of snow by singing sea shanties (I love singing sea shanties). And, when they wake up the bear, he literally looks like he has just fallen out of bed. And, isn't it just so wonderful and so true that just like how a watched pot does not boil, the first snowflake arrives when the three animals have actually stopped waiting for it to snow (well, actually, they thought that the old smelly sock that bear had found was the first snow, but that is beside the point, the snow arrives when they are no longer actively watching for it or searching for it, and after having their fun in the snow, the three friends fall asleep in the bear's winter den). This was/is a really magical and fun story, one to be enjoyed not only by children, but by adults as well.

What I find kind of interesting and mildly amusing is that in one one star review of the book, the reviewer takes issue with the fact that the squirrel is trying to stay awake, instead of hibernating (the reviewer goes to great lengths to point out that squirrels generally do not hibernate in the winter). However, the author/illustrator of this picture book is German, and I do know, or at least I was taught when I was a child, that in Germany, squirrels, like hedgehogs do hibernate in the winter. And, even North American tree squirrels sleep during the winter, they do not hibernate, but they do den up, like bears do. I just thought it was incredibly petty of the reviewer to take such a huge issue with the story, and if he/she had bothered to do a bit of research, she/he would have realised that in Europe, squirrels do have the reputation of hibernating in the winter.


message 47: by Kathryn, The Princess of Picture-Books (new)

Kathryn | 6181 comments Mod
I finally got to read the Aylesworth/McClintock version of The Mitten! I read the Jan Brett some years ago as part of that wonderful big collection book Jenny mentioned ;-) And I did like it, but I don't remember being super wowed. However, I *loved* the Aylesworth version. I should probably check out the Brett version again to compare, but I don't remember there being the little child in her version, was there? In any case, I really loved that element of the Aylesworth telling; it was just so darn sweet with the grandmother, who loved the little boy so much--the final page was perfect ;-) I enjoyed the cumulative nature of the tale and can just imagine children chiming in with the little creatures as the story progresses! I also *loved* the illustrations but, like Chandra, I'm a big McClintock fan so I'm not surprised. I found them both adorable and wonderfully humorous--even down to the details like the fox (I think it was) sticking out his tongue as others try to squeeze in to the mitten. It's also very nice to see a story with those animals (that might otherwise be predator and prey) together in a harmonious (mostly!) setting. I liked the ambiguity at the end of their tale of whether or not they were running off looking for separate cozy homes or going to find one to share. All in all, a real treat!

I was also interested to read the author's note about the different variations on the story and would love to read the original Ukraine version; though I don't think I'd like whatever version has the creatures hide inside an old horse skull! I think Abigail has read some of the other variations and hope she'll post a comment regarding her experiences and recommendations ;-)


message 48: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 722 comments I don't think my version had the author's note...I'm going to have to check, Kathryn.

Sometimes it's a double edged sword reading other people's reviews, isn't it, Gundula? Some people take issue with such trivial things...and yet sometimes reading reviews can help you find books that you will enjoy or avoid books that you won't.


message 49: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Jenny wrote: "I don't think my version had the author's note...I'm going to have to check, Kathryn.

Sometimes it's a double edged sword reading other people's reviews, isn't it, Gundula? Some people take i..."


The author's note is really, really tiny, not easy to find at all. I loved the book, but due to the fact that it is a retelling of a fokltale, I would have liked a more detailed and obvious author's note. After Kathryn mentioned the author's note, I searched for it, it is right at the back.


message 50: by Manybooks (new)

Manybooks | 8492 comments Mod
Chandra wrote: "Gundula - it's funny what people can get hung up isn't it? But I can kind of relate as there have been times when I've done the same thing and probably driven other people mad with my nitpicking!"

Chandra and Jenny, I did not so much mind that the reviewer did not like the book, it was more the tone that bothered me. I did think the reviewer was being a bit petty and nit-picky about the "hibernation" issue, but what bothered me even more was the categorical assertion that no child would find Waiting for Winter funny and/or enjoyable.


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