Tag Archives: Gabi Swiatkowska

Yoon and the Christmas Mitten












Yoon and the Christmas Mitten
by Helen Recorvits, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
Frances Foster Books, 2007

While this book is older and only available used or at a library, it’s worth seeking out.  It’s a poignant story about a young Korean girl, new to America, who doesn’t understand why she can’t celebrate Santa Claus.

In kindergarten, Yoon learns about Santa Claus.  She attempts to tell her parents about this wonderful man, but they say they live in a Korean house, not a Christmas house.  She learns about reindeer, makes popcorn balls and learns about Christmas stockings, but her parents stay solid on claiming they live in a Korean house, not a Christmas house.  Frustrated, Yoon points out, “But father, you have also told me that America is our home now.  Are we not both Korean and American?”  He contemplates her words and compliments her, “You are full of shining wisdom, little Yoon.”  On Christmas Day, she awakens to a piece of the North Pole in her mitten and a gift by her bed.

Beyond the main theme of immigrants having to make changes when they move to a new land, many additional components make this a wonderful story: the young child is ‘heard’ by her parents, the loose illustrations speak to the heart, and the charm of a red mitten in place of a stocking.  An endearing tale.

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by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska
Henry Holt and Company, 2004
Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

Illustrator Gabi Swiatkowska and writer Lola M Schaefer bring alive a true story about a hawk that was wounded by and lived with an arrow running through its body for several months.

When Hawk takes an arrow in his side, he learns he can fly and gets him to the top of a Red Oak tree where he can rest.  He cares for his wound as best he can.  But after two days he is hungry and set off to find what he can.  He learns to negotiate with the arrow and goes after easier food to catch.  One day Hawks gets the arrow tangled in tree branches and snaps off part of the arrow.  Life is a bit easier.  One day he spots a field of mice, easy prey, and when he drops down to feast, his claws become entangled in a netting.  Rescuers remove the arrow and care for Hawk until he is fully healed.  They return him to his home and release him.

An afterword shares details of the Hawk’s story.  Geared more for the reader 6-11 years old.

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