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Kitchen Table Reviews: The Missing Mitten Mystery

An old family favorite about what happens to missing mittens gets the Kamins feeling nostalgic.

By Mir Kamin | December 11 , 2009
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The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg
The Missing Mitten Mystery by Steven Kellogg

The kids and I usually select a new(ish) book for our weekly review, but this week I was feeling nostalgic for winter, I guess. (We used to live in New England, where winter is Serious Business, and now that we live in the south, let’s just say we don’t get to wear mittens very often!)

Me: Do you two remember this book? We used to read it all the time.

Son: Oh yeah! I loved this one.

Me: How come?

Son: Well, she’s lost five mittens this winter, already. That’s totally something I would do. And then her imagination runs away with her about what might have happened to her mitten, and her ideas are really funny.

Daughter: Yeah, my favorite parts are the beginning and end pages, showing mitten tracks in the snow. Like maybe (like she says) the mitten got tired of being a mitten and left.

Me: That is kind of funny. But also a little creepy.

Daughter: True.

Son: My favorite part is when she imagines planting a mitten tree, and then you see this huge tree growing a million mittens!

Me: I think that’s my favorite part, too.

Daughter: I like that, too. But I also like when she imagines that maybe a mouse is using her mitten for a sleeping bag. But then that reminds me of that other book, the one where all the animals climb into a mitten. Shoot. What’s that called?

Me: I think that’s The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Daughter: Right! Yeah, it kind of reminded me of that.

Me: But I get freaked out when the bear climbs into the mitten in that book. Bears should not fit into mittens.

Daughter: It’s just a book, Mom.

Son: I also like how she finds everyone else’s lost stuff. Like, she finds her friend’s boot. And then his other boot!

Daughter: Yeah, how did he lose his boots while he was playing? And how did he get home??

Me: Probably with very cold toes.

Daughter: Well, that doesn’t seem very realistic.

Me: But a giant mitten tree does?

Daughter: Good point.

Me: Now for the important question: Does reading this book make you feel all ready for winter and snowmen and the holidays?

Son: Yes!

Daughter: Um, it’s 70 degrees outside.

Me: I know, that’s why we read a snowy book about snowmen and mittens.

Daughter: Oh. Well, in that case, I guess so.

Son: I want cocoa!

In other words, I think we still like this one.

Pros: Perfect for getting into the winter/holiday mood. The picture of a giant tree growing a variety of mittens is hilarious. Cute without being too sappy.

Cons: Reminds us of The Mitten and then we get worried about bears. Leaving both boots out in the snow and possibly freezing your toes off. The idea of a sentient mitten is a little bit creepy.

The Missing Mitten Mystery gets three thumbs up even on a 70-degree December day, here at our kitchen table.

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