Ava and I just returned home from thrifting in our bitty town. Usually we are lucky to find any treasures, but today we found such a great book. The Mitten is one that is very popular right now, but mostly this version. Ours is from 1964, and is in mint condition.
The story in this version is quite different than the one circulating now. In it, the grandson is out gathering wood when he drops his yellow mitten with a fur cuff and red wool lining. A mouse comes upon it and makes it her home. She then invites various critters to come inside because she feels sorry for them out in the bitter cold. She balks at letting the owl in because she is wary of owls, but feels so bad for him what else could she do.
Along comes a little old creaky cricket when the mitten is already holding a mouse, a frog, an owl, a rabbit, a fox, a wolf, a wild boar and a bear. When the cricket tries to squeeze in, the mitten comes apart and the animals all go flying. The little boy soon realizes that his mitten is missing and returns to find it in pieces. He is not worried however, because his grandmother has been warm at home by the fire making him new ones.
I love this story, and this particular book feels much closer to its Ukrainian roots to me. The illustrations are divine, and the larger cast of animals is splendid. If you ever see a copy of this in the thrift store, snag it!