Monday, December 20, 2010

Too Many Mittens, by Florence and Louis Slobodkin (Vanguard Press, 1958)

Known best as an illustrator of New Yorker cartoons and James Thurber's classic 1943 children's book Many Moons, Caldecott-award winner Louis Slobodkin collaborated with his wife to tell this charming personal story based on their twin grandsons. The illustrations have a great midcentury quality, and I love how the font for the book's title is made up of mittens:

The book tells the story of twin boys in the bitter cold of Michigan who lose one of their mittens, and the neighborhood (with its various merchants and deliverymen) comes to the rescue by finding that single lost mitten all over town.

The boys' clothesline becomes a repository for lost mittens, and any time someone in the neighborhood loses a mitten, they stop by the boys' house to pick one up. They even put out a sign:

By springtime, there is only one mitten left: the original missing red mitten!

I love this book because it provides a little glimpse of "community" half a century ago.


This blog seeks to share excerpted content from out-of-print children's books. If you are the copyright holder of any of these books and are unhappy with this usage, please contact me immediately and I will rectify it.