Written By: Jeff Brumbeau
Illustrated By: Gail de Marcken
Pfeifer-Hamilton Publishers, 2000, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 4-8 (publisher's rec, but text-heavy so maybe preferable for older end or kids with a good attention span.)
Themes/Topics: generosity, greed, helping others
Opening: "There was once a quilt maker who kept a house in the blue misty mountains up high. Even the oldest great, great grandfather could not recall a time when she was not up there, sewing away day after day. Here and there and wherever the sun warmed the earth, it was said she made the prettiest quilts anyone had ever seen."
Brief Synopsis: A kind-hearted quilt maker makes the most beautiful quilts the world has ever seen, but rather than sell them she gives them away to the poor. When a greedy king wants one, he must learn the joy of giving before he can hope to receive.
Links To Resources: The end papers of the book show numerous quilt patterns by picture and name, and the inside of the dust jacket has a fabulous illustration where kids (and grown-ups :)) can search for all the items given away by the king - the ultimate hidden picture! Here is a Teacher's Guide suitable for upper elementary. And here is The Quiltmaker's Gift Website which is full of great resources including puzzles and games, stories of generosity from around the globe, and many other things - even a book on how to make the quilts pictured.
Why I Like This Book: Although this book got rather luke warm reviews, I love it, and my children all loved it. It's one of an increasingly rarer breed of picture book these days - the kind with more than 500-1000 words. As such, it's better suited to the older end of the picture book age group (or good listeners) and I love picture books that fall into that category. The language is lyrical, the pictures are gorgeous and full of details, and the story has a nice message about what is really important in life.
For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.
Next up is our latest Straight From The Editor with Erin Molta.
Here's what Erin had to say:
This seems like it will be cute. Just a couple of minor suggestions.
(Original pitch): Three frolicking baby giraffes try to find a place to play on a hot and crowded savannah. They find it isn’t an easy task. They run into a troop of baboons, a dazzle of zebras, and a pride of lions. At last, they turn to the river, only to be confronted by hippopotami. Our giraffes find fun and friendship at the end of a long a grueling day.
Confronted indicates confrontational and doesn’t provide quite the right lead-in to, “Our giraffes finding fun and friendship . . .” so you need to say something like, “Finally, the giraffes find fun and friendship. . .” or mention what it is that the giraffes did to change the hippos’ minds so that they are welcomed rather than confronted. It would also be cool if you added the group name for hippopotami (bloat, herd, pod?)
I hope everyone finds something helpful to take away!
Finally, I hope you've all been keeping up with that whirlwind Phyllis! I can't believe how wonderful all her hostesses have been so far! They have been showing her SUCH a good time. She is seeing the sights and learning all about the USA - geography, history, fashion :) (yes, leave it to Phyllis to try to figure out how to wear her sombrero and her coonskin cap at the same time!) If you haven't had a chance yet, please check out Phyllis's World Tour on the tab above, as well as Kirsten's, Natalie's First, Second and Third, Kelly's, and Hannah's posts detailing Phyllis's visits to California, Texas, Florida, and Colorado! They have all taken Phyllis to wonderful places, and been so creative, and posted such fantastic photos, I urge you all to take a look when you have a spare minute. Phyllis also left for New Zealand and the UK this morning, and arrived in Missouri around noon. It would seem the space-time continuum does not apply to her :)
Keep your eye on Phyllis's World Tour tab which will be updated even when it's not a posting day here, and tune in next week for more adventures. Also, on Monday, instead of Oh Susanna, we will have a visit from the delightful Iza Trapani for our monthly interview which promises to be amazing!
PPBF bloggers, please add your post-specific links to the list below! Have a great weekend everybody!