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The Mukluk Ball

The Mukluk Ball

Regular price $ 16.95

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Author Katharine Johnson, Illustrations Alicia Schwab

Minnesota Historical Society Press (November 1, 2018)

With help from his friends, Karhu dances his way to Finn Town's liveliest winter event, the Mukluk Ball, featuring the tango, the conga, and even the Bear Hug Twist.


Karhu the bear lives in the piney north woods near the bustling burg of Finn Town. When he sees a billboard advertising Mukluk Ball: Come One, Come All, he wants to go! Unfortunately, a few obstacles stand in his path.

First: he needs to buy a pair of mukluks, soft leather boots perfect for dancing. Karhu brings his innate skills to the town's summer festival. He sells freshly picked blueberries and comforting bear hugs to earn enough for this essential purchase.

Next: he needs to learn how to dance. Luckily, talented friends like Millie the square dancer and Mary Ann the librarian and Inga the folksinger agree to teach him. Soon he can polka and chachacha and boogie-woogie.

And then, the most vexing hurdle of all: with the dance set for January, Karhu needs a surefire way to wake up from his long winter’s nap. Here, his friend Zazaa the owl swoops in to offer a solution.

Will the Mukluk Ball live up to Karhu's dreams? The warmth and music and fellowship filling Finn Town Hall might just make for the best night of this bear's life.

Author information

Katharine Johnson wears mukluks all winter in Cloquet, Minnesota; her stories have been published in magazines and anthologies.

Alicia Schwab has been drawing and dancing her whole life. She is the illustrator of Good Grief and Great Group Skits.

Reviews and news

"There’s lots of hugging and happiness in this book that will make readers of all ages smile."
Pioneer Press

KUMD Radio

Publishers Weekly

"An entertaining tale of cooperation and fun, with illustrations that place the bear and the dance in a place that looks a whole lot like Ely."
Star Tribune

Coloring page

The Mukluk Ball Coloring Page (PDF)


  • 32 pages
  • Fully illustrated in color
  • 10x10 inches
  • ISBN: 9781681341163

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