Author and illustrator Jan Brett’s love of folk and fairy tales is apparent in this beautifully illustrated picture book for little readers. Having carefully researched this Ukrainian tale, she renders each picture with true authenticity.
The story begins with Nicki, a young Ukrainian boy, who hopes that his grandmother will knit him some cozy white mittens. After she makes them for him, she warns that if he loses them, it will be difficult to find them in the snow. Nicki assures her that he won’t lose them, but no sooner than he leaves the house, he drops one of them! As he searches for his lovely mitten, something very interesting takes place. The creatures of the forest are slowly making their home in his mitten: a mole, then a rabbit, a hedgehog, an owl, a badger, a fox – even a bear! They pack themselves in as tight as they can, but a small mouse manages to come in and his whiskers tickle the bear’s nose. The bear sneezes, and all of the animals pop out of the mitten, causing it to sail in the air just as Nicki is about to give up. Grabbing the mitten triumphantly, he takes it back to his grandmother’s house.