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*Noah's Mittens* by Lise Lunge-Larsen, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Also illustrated by Matthew Trueman:

One Beetle Too Many: The Extraordinary Adventures of Charles Darwin

A Picture for Marc (A Stepping Stones Chapter Book: History)

Tony and the Pizza Champions
Noah's Mittens
by Lise Lunge-Larsen, illustrated by Matthew Trueman
Grades K-3 32 pages Houghton Mifflin September 2007 Hardcover    

Noah's Mittens is a delightful and unusual take on a well-known legend – that of Noah’s Ark. This is not a religious book, but one that has some historical fact and lessons involved in the storyline itself. Parents will be glad to know that bits of fact are incorporated into the book and lesson plan in the back, including how fleece and felt are created and the many cultures who used this resource throughout historical times. Readers will also find that Noah is an observant man, and although he is considered to be a genius, he is not afraid to ask questions.

Lise Lunge-Larsen did a wonderful job in constructing this children’s book so that it is loosely based on a biblical character but is not overtly religious. Noah is an intelligent character who invents the plow, scythe and other agricultural tools. Eventually he builds an ark and gathers the beasts and birds, those that crawl and those that nibble - he gathers them all into the ark and readies for the heavy rains. When the rains stop, he finds his ark has come to a rest on a glacier, and they must travel in the cold to the warm green valleys below.

Fun imagery from spilled food and upset, energetic and seasick animals are included throughout the pages; I enjoyed the curlicue sunrays and the pointy-headed cardinals. Illustrator Matthew Trueman's masterfully created images come alive on the pages, created in mixed media including pencil, gouache, acrylics and collage with an over-glaze of oil paint.

Noah's Mittens closes with facts about felt and early discoveries of ancient civilizations that show felt has been used for more than 8000 years. It is actually thought to be the oldest cloth in the world, and the author discusses felt clothing fashions of the Babylonians, Reubens, Europeans, Muslims and the Ottomans as well.

Interestingly, the hardcover and slipcover do not have identical illustrations, which is unusual. Noah's Mittens seems to be a sturdy book with a reasonable asking price of $16.95 retail (US).

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  Lillian Brummet/2007 for curled up with a good kid's book  

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