Too Many Mittens
by Florence and Louis Slobodkin/ published 1958 by The Vanguard Press
Most known for the Caldecott Medal-winning illustrations in James Thurber's Many Moons (1944), Louis and his wife Florence did this book as a nod to their own twin grandsons. The story is about how the boys and their grandmother accumulate a load of missing red mittens. Simple yet enduringly precious, it is a tale filled with seasons and melancholy and what it means to be lost and found again.
They counted, "1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10...!"
There were now TEN RED MITTENS in the drawer!
And for the next few days, whenever anyone found a red mitten
anywhere, that person brought it over to the twins' house.
The dainty pictures are so delicate... the red of the boys cheeks seems rubbed on with just a hint of rouge. And the mittens just a few strokes of the pen but still iconic and evocative of an era. These sorts of books are the kind I love, an imaginative theme told without a great deal of drama. Simple storytelling.
Millions and Millions and Millions!
Dinny and Danny