Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Brilliant Jan Brett

If I'm counting correctly on my fingers and toes, it appears Jan Brett has written, retold, and/or illustrated over 35 books! Which brings one word to mind: "WOW!"

We own two of those 35+ ... "The Mitten", which is a Ukrainian Folktale she adapted and illustrated; and "The Three Snow Bears", a polar twist on the famed 'Goldilocks...' tale.

The stories are adorable. But, I could spend hours just looking at the lavish illustrations. They are phenomenal ... and make me wish I could illustrate!

They are also clever. Both stories feature illustrated foreshadowing, which I think is simply brilliant and is such an enticing element to a child (... and children at heart!).
For example ... in "The Mitten", on the left margin of each page, you see the main character - Nicki - going about his playful day, clueless that he has lost his white mitten in the snow and oblivious to the fact that he is being watched by the animals that will eventually crawl into that lost mitten. On the right margin of each page, you see the animal that will attempt to crawl into the mitten on the next page.

"The Three Snow Bears" applies that same concept with main character, Aloo-ki, as she simultaneously loses her dog sled team and discovers a lovely igloo, complete with a warm bowl of breakfast, comfy boots with a soft fur lining that fit her feet perfectly, and a cozy bed and pillow on which to rest. It just so happens the igloo belongs to a bear family, who saves Aloo-ki's huskies ... but is none-too-happy to find that she has eaten baby bear's breakfast, borrowed his boots, and is now resting peacefully in his bed!

If you are looking for classics to add to your bookshelf, these are a sure bet. Enjoyable to read over and over, and appealing for children and adults alike.

Happy reading!

18 comments:

Suzanne Casamento said...

These books look adorable! You're right, the illustrations are fantastic.

Thanks for the post!

Jeff B said...

I'll bet the little ones love these.

lotusgirl said...

I like illustrated foreshadowing too. Jan Brett is very talented.

Lisa and Laura said...

I have both of these books and my kids LOVE them! So cute.

Danyelle said...

I love the illustrations. She's an amazing woman!

PJ Hoover said...

That is a heck of a lot of books. I had no idea.

Keri Mikulski said...

Kaci would enjoy them!! :) Thanks!

Carrie Harris said...

We got The Mitten out of the library last winter, and my kids loved it! Thanks for the reminder; I ought to pick up a copy.

Kelly said...

We own The Mitten, too! It is a classic!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

How I love The Mitten. When I taught preschool for a while it was a definite favorite!

Sherry Rogers said...

I had the opportunity to see her in person. . .but somehow with kids and life forgot to go and remembered that evening. I was very bummed.

Thanks for the wonderful comments on my new book cover!

Shelli said...

lovethese!

Solvang Sherrie said...

The Mitten is one of our favorites. The illustrations are wonderful.

Sheri said...

Yeah, she's amazing. I can't imagine how long it takes her to do just one of her illustrations. They are so detailed!

Cathy C. Hall said...

My kids LOVED Jan Brett's books, and I loved reading them! And I, too, used "The Mitten" when I taught preschool. I can still remember the
activities...Ahh, good times...thanks for the mitten memories!

The Things We Carried said...

I have just rediscovered her.

CC said...

Love Jan Brett. Love them. Except for the "Christmas trolls" one. I have it and have never liked it (although the kids do).

PS: check out my portaportal blog entry again. I fixed my site so you can go on and check out the games I've collected now.

Kelly H-Y said...

LOVE hearing all the comments ... so fun to see all the Jan Brett fans!!!