Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Monday, February 27, 2012

Quite a Ukrainian Yarn

The Mitten is a Ukrainian folk tale adapted and illustrated by Jan Brett (New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1989).  It was one of the Music Man's childhood favorites.  How fitting that we may now incorporate his original musical composition as the soundtrack to our book trailer.

Jan Brett's illustrations are wonderfully descriptive, and the text is simultaneously expressive and compressed.  The result is a tightly-told tale that moves the reader along smoothly.  The ever-increasing size of the mitten's occupants makes us anxious to see what happens next, while the story's climax provides a genuine belly-laugh and the satisfaction of knowing that all's well that ends well.

Early literacy readers (i.e., preschoolers) will enjoy listening and looking at this book during read-aloud, and children in the early elementary grades will have fun reading it on their own.  The drawings evoke an old-fashioned, folklore-style format that presages characters and developments.  The art is fabulous.

Although there were no felines in this book, I was truly entertained by the assortment of woodland critters that graced the pages.  I felt like they were alive, right there in front of moi.  That makes for exciting and engaging reading.

Good Thing Yarn Stretches Plenty,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Young Readers' Advisory News Beat

P.S.  "The Mitten in the Snow" is a children's song adapted from Brett's book that may be sung to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell."  Click here to have a nice sing-along with your kids.

P.P.S.  Jan Brett explains in this video (2009) a little about her inspirations for her children's books and how she approaches illustration.

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