The Mitten Tree

The Mitten Tree
by Candice Christiansen
illustrated by Elaine Greenstein

book summary, Lexile level,
a peek inside, and more

The Mitten Tree is a sweet story that gently illustrates the joy that comes from helping others. In the story, an old woman named Sarah sees a young boy waiting by the bus who doesn't have mittens, so she generously knits him a pair of mittens and, when no one is looking, hangs them on a tree in a location where he is sure to see them. She then notices other children who need mittens, and knits them pairs as well. Then, one day Sarah arrives at the tree to find that someone has returned the favor by leaving a basket of yarn to help her continue her work.

In addition to the adorable illustrations, one of our favorite things about this book is how Sarah is "giving from the heart with no need for recognition or applause." (The Lutheran Magazine). Children's books about helping others generally end with the kind deed being rewarded or recognized, and that is certainly a good ending, as we want children to learn that kindness gets returned. Now and then, however, it's nice to see a book where the main character is happy not because he or she was recognized for their act of service or generosity, but just because doing kind things makes a person happy!  That's a good lesson to teach as well. :)

Reading Stats
Interest Level: PreS-K        DRA Level: n/a
Reading Level: age 4-8       Lexile Measure: 560L

Great for teaching 
service / helping others / self-sacrifice (Char. Educ.)

Awards & Rating

Avg Amazon Customer Rating: 
4.5 stars (4 reviews)
The Mitten Tree

Peek Inside
Below are spreads from inside The Mitten Tree. Although you can't necessarily tell from our little versions below, the illustrations in this book have a wonderful highly textured characteristic about them. Greenstein uses cool, winter colors and a 'scratchy' illustration style to create sweet and memorable illustrations. We will definitely be looking for other treasures by this illustrator.

The Mitten Tree

The Mitten Tree

The Mitten Tree

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