Children’s Book Reviews

Children's Book Reviews: Mittens to Share

Publish November 16, 2016

In Mittens to Share by author Emil Sher and illustrator Irene Luxbacher, a young girl and her father head out for some winter fun. Several snow angels and a snowman later, she loses her mitten, and returns home to find another pair. But where did that mitten go? Mittens to Share is Torontonian Emil Sher’s first children’s picture book; he is known for his screen adaptation of Hana’s Suitcase and his Governor General’s Literary award-nominated adult novel, Young Man with Camera. Irene Luxbacher, also of Toronto, has received awards and nominations for her writing and illustrations, including those in The Imaginary Garden and Mr. Frank. Here, Sher’s short, simple poetic phrases capture the essence of each action and emotion. When the girl loses her mitten, for example, kids read, “Oh no!/ One mitten./ Two hands./ Lost-mitten tears.” Many kids will recognize the household mitten box, which contains “grown-up,” “outgrown,” and “fuzzy, warm best-friend” mittens. Luxbacher’s acrylic, graphite, charcoal, and found paper illustrations nicely complement the textures of all the mittens the young girl searches through, and the fuzzy kittens who play with them. Luxbacher explores point of view, too: the girl spies a chickadee on a telephone wire, and then the chickadee looks down upon the father and daughter. This chickadee provides a surprise toward the end, and upon subsequent reads kids will notice how it was present throughout much of the book. Mittens to Share is a short, sweet read, a perfect snuggly story on a chilly day.

Mittens to Share

Emil Sher
Illustration EN: Irene Luxbacher
Scholastic Canada Inc.
ISBN 13: 978-1-4431-4296-0

Jen Bailey
Jen Bailey Jen Bailey is an Ontario-certified teacher who holds an MFA in Writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She works for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council. Jen’s other book reviews have appeared in Quill & Quire and Canadian Children’s Book News.

The National Reading Campaign publishes children's book reviews under a Creative Commons License. This review is entirely free to reproduce and republish online and in print. Credit must be given to the reviewer and the National Reading Campaign. Reviews can be edited for brevity only. Contact Us for more information.