The Woodcutter's Mitten

Loek Koopmans, Author Crocodile Books $13.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-940793-67-5
Inspired by the same Russian folktale that served as the foundation for Jan Brett's The Mitten , Koopmans describes what happens when a woodcutter walking through a snowy forest loses his mitten: it becomes home to a mouse, a frog, a rabbit, a fox, a boar and a bear, expanding to accommodate each new denizen. Unfortunately, this version lacks the visual and narrative flourishes that crown Brett's, which is hands down the superior Mitten . Here each spread is static, with action depicted only in the center foreground; despite the wintry theme, most of the colors, including the snow's whites, are warm. The text, too, is repetitious and falsely toasty, with the animals introduced as Mistress Mouse, Frog Limpyleg, Rabbit Fast-on-Foot, Fox Goldenfur, etc., and speaking all-too-sweetly to one another (``Let's see!'' the aforementioned quartet choruses to Boar Flatnose. ``If we cuddle together, maybe we can fit you in''). The woodcutter's mitten may stretch wildly, but Koopmans's storytelling merely strains. Ages 2-7. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
Paperback - 32 pages - 978-1-56656-176-1
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