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*A Mountain of Mittens* by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Mitch Vane
A Mountain of Mittens
by Lynn Plourde, illustrated by Mitch Vane
Ages 4-8 32 pages Charlesbridge July 2009 Paperback    

At the end of the school day, the teachers at Molly’s school can be heard mumbling and grumbling, “They forgot their mittens.” Every day after school, the teachers collect the mittens and add them to the growing pile in the lost-and-found box.

Mr. Jolly finds mittens in the turtle tank, Miss Holly finds them on the stage after rehearsal, and Mr. Golly finds them on the school bus. There is one mitten attached to a bulletin board in the school and several on the classroom floor.

On the day the children are told to retrieve their mittens from the lost-and-found box, they get stuck in the mitten mountain. Special ‘snip-snapping cutting equipment’ frees the children, but it’s going to take more than help from a parent or a teacher to get these children to remember their mittens.

The illustrations in A Mountain of Mittens are rendered in watercolor, dip pen and India ink. The story is set in the winter; enough snow has fallen to cover the tops of mailboxes and fences. It’s slippery enough for buses to slide into ditches and cold enough for hats, boots, winter jackets and mittens. But it’s not too cold for Molly’s dog to go outside to see her off to school, or for a bird to hang about and watch all the commotion going on around the school.

Children will enjoy the humor in Mitch Vane’s illustrations, which are hyperbolic renderings of the text. The text says Molly’s parents Velcro-ed Molly’s mittens to her jacket, but the illustration shows Molly’s dog, stuffed bear and doll Velcro-ed to her jacket, too. When the author writes about parents crocheting chains of yarn for their children’s mittens, the children are drawn draped in excessively long chains of yarn.

Children will enjoy seeing these exaggerations and all the different places and different ways the children lose their mittens. Mittens are found stuck to the principal, taped to the stage curtains, and hanging all over the bus. They might also chuckle at the very end of the story when they see who else forgets the mittens!

Fun, repetitive phrases and silly illustrations make this picture book about forgetting unforgettable.

Born and raised in Maine, Lynn Plourde graduated from university with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in speech therapy. She is the author of the picture books Teacher Appreciation Day, Summer’s Vacation, and School Picture Day. She lives in Winthrop, Maine.

Mitch Vane has over twenty years experience working as a freelance illustrator. Her illustrations have appeared on posters, coloring books, paintings, and the children’s books Wednesday Was Even Worse, Just Like Me, and the “Little Lunch” series. She lives in Melbourne, Australia.

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  Tanya Boudreau/2009 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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