Author and illustrator Jan Brett has captured the hearts of adults and children alike over the past four decades. Her books often feature adorable animal characters getting into mischief and you can find a hedgehog either front and center or secretly hidden in many of her stories. You can check out many of Jan’s books either online via Overdrive, or you can put them on hold and pick them up in person! Here are just a few of my personal favorites:
“When Nicki drops his white mitten in the snow, he goes on without realizing that it is missing. One by one, woodland animals find the mitten and crawl in; first a curious mole, then a rabbit, a badger and others, each one larger than the last. Finally, a big brown bear is followed in by a tiny brown mouse, and what happens next makes a wonderfully funny climax.
As the story of the animals in the mitten unfolds, the reader can see Nicki in the borders of each page, walking through the woods unaware of what is going on. Once again Jan Brett has created a dramatic and beautiful picture book in her distinctive style. She brings the animals to life with warmth and humor, and her illustrations are full of visual delights and details faithful to the Ukrainian tradition, from which the story comes.” ~Jan Brett
“When Lisa’s woolen stocking flies off the clothesline, Hedgie finds it and pokes his nose in. He tries to pull it out, the stocking gets stuck on his prickles — and the fun begins. A mother hen comes by, then a noisy goose, a talkative barn cat, a playful farm dog, a mama pig and her piglets, and a pony. They all laugh at Hedgie, especially when he pretends he’s wearing a new hat. But in the end, it is clever Hedgie who has the last laugh. And where is Lisa when all of this is going on? She’s in the borders, getting ready for winter, until she realizes her stocking is missing and she enters the story to look for it. Jan Brett’s luminous paintings of a Scandinavian farm and the forest around it are bathed in northern light, as the snow begins to fall and the story begins, in this delightfully original companion book to The Mitten.” ~Jan Brett
“A chill is in the air, and as Hedgie trundles around the farm all his friends tell him of the winter-time fun he will miss as he hibernates: Icicles decorating the chicken coop! Lisa making snowmen! The pond turned to slippery ice!
It sounds so amazing that Hedgie decides to stay awake instead of going to his burrow. But then, a snowstorm starts. Luckily, Lisa finds him and brings him to her home, so Hedgie gets to see the wonders of winter from inside the cozy house.” ~Penguin Random House
“The Goldilocks story takes a fine twist when an endearing snow bear family and a curious Inuit girl meet center stage in Jan Brett’s stunning paintings of a land where the Inuits and the animals share the amazing Arctic landscape. When Aloo-ki loses her sled dogs, her search for them leads her to an igloo. She can’t resist peeking inside…and then she can’t resist the smell of something delicious… While Aloo-ki is making herself at home, Papa, Mama and Baby Bear are out walking, waiting for their breakfast to cool off…and who do you think they find? In the borders, playful Arctic animals in parkas inspired by original Inuit designs have a mischievous time as the lively story bounces back and forth between the snow bears and Aloo-ki until they come face-to-face.” ~Jan Brett
“A group of clever animals find an unusual but warm and furry home during Alaska’s long winter in Jan Brett’s newest snowy adventure. Cozy is the softest musk ox in Alaska, with the warmest fur you ever did feel. When a storm hits while he’s separated from his family, he starts to feel lonely–but not for long. As the snow piles up, animals start to notice just how warm and cozy Cozy really is! One mama lemming has a bright idea . . . maybe the best place to spend the winter is under Cozy’s fur! As more and more animals burrow in, Cozy adds to the house rules: quiet voices, gentle thumping, claws to yourself, no biting, and no pouncing. That seems easy enough . . . until the lemmings, snowshoe hare, snowy owl, arctic fox, and wolverine begin to bicker. Luckily, signs of spring soon appear, and that means Cozy can find his herd and his new friends can head to their summer homes. But not before promising to get cozy with Cozy next year! Jan Brett brings a new lovable character to life through this gorgeous tale of sharing, friendship, and living in harmony.” ~Jan Brett