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!
Oh I've read this book! It's lovely. Good choice :)ReplyDelete
Susanna...I, too, love picture books that have glorious illustrations...one can always eliminate some of the words if the child is younger. :) This sounds like a wonderful story...I applaud the little quilt-maker...great messages for children...give to others and earn what you want! The resources look amazing!ReplyDelete
Thank you also for sharing with us Erin's comments...it's helpful to see an editor's critique and suggestions.
And...congratulations on Phyllis' whirlwind tour...I'm sure you will be getting lots of positive feedback on your book!!
Such a wonderful sounding book. And that cover is so festive.ReplyDelete
I enjoyed the editor's note. I, too, sort of hoped to see the group name for hippos give the patterns set in the pitch. Sounds like giraffes on a tour of friendship and fun.
And Phyllis. I reckon she got a hold of Doctor Who's Tardis, showing up in all odd time zones and what not :-)
Go Phyllis! Keep having a blast!
I wanna be an illustrator. But. *sigh* I can't draw stick figures! *frowny face*ReplyDelete
This book sounds great, Susanna! The cover is beautiful!
The editors note is so helpful. Thanks so much!
I can't wait for Phyllis's next adventure. She's rocking the world. (Or at least the U.S.!) *hugs*
The Quiltmaker's Gift looks like a beautiful book. Thanks for sharing Erin Molta's comments -- they were very helpful to read.ReplyDelete
You're welcome Margaret! I always find Erin's comments interesting, and this is a book that has been very popular at our house!ReplyDelete
You and me both, Robyn! Book like this make me WISH I could draw! But I will have to stick with what I can do - you should see me with a coloring book! :) And I can't wait for Phyllis's next adventure either - her tour is turning out to be so much fun!!!ReplyDelete
You should see the interior illustrations, Angela, and the inside of the cover with the hidden pictures - unbelievable! Glad you liked Erin's note, and so funny you mentioned the Tardis - 2 of my kids are total Dr. Who fans! :)ReplyDelete
Glad you enjoyed the book and comments. And actually, I'm working on a whole nother idea for the tour - hoping to unveil Monday... if I could just get my stupid computer and scanner to talk to each other!!!ReplyDelete
So glad you like it, too, Barbara! (I love how you got those little flowers by your signature - how do you do that?!)ReplyDelete
Phyllis is quite the adventurous traveler!!ReplyDelete
The Quiltmaker's Gift looks like a beautiful book and I like what it's about. Thanks for the recommendation!
Phyllis is VERY adventurous for a whistle pig! Glad you like the book!ReplyDelete
I've read this book and I really liked it too. I think it's a good story about giving. I think it's a great choice for PPBF! I've really enjoyed reading about Phyllis' travels!ReplyDelete
I'm glad to hear the other people who have read this book liked it too. And I'm even more glad that you're enjoying Phyllis's travels :)ReplyDelete
Susanna, this sounds like an amazing book that teaches an important lesson. Does Phyllis need a traveling companion, personal assistant, or chaperon? Her travels sound wonderful and amazing! I know many children are loving her story!ReplyDelete
If you're suggesting you'd like to be included, I can contact her travel agent :) Let me know... :)ReplyDelete
That sounds lovely, super feedback and I was wondering if I could find somewhere interesting to take Phyllis. I'll think of something. Have a super weekend!ReplyDelete
Quilts are a great way to teach a lesson on giving. Great feedback on the pitch. I hope to catch up on Phyllis' travels on Saturday.ReplyDelete
Oh, that's funny, Angela! The first thing I though of was Phyllis traveling with the Doctor! Excellent.ReplyDelete
I love the sound of this book and I will be looking for it at our library. My mom is an amazing quilter and has made many well-loved quilts for my boys over the years. This book will be one they can connect with easily. I also want to see the art of the quilts!ReplyDelete
I think I'd like to be her. I was last in New Zealand about 19 years ago. It's one of my favorite places on earth. But yes, send her on to NJ- we'd love to have her!ReplyDelete
I know! I think I'd like to be her too! She's getting to go so many awesome places!ReplyDelete
Oh, if you come from a quilting family you will love it! And it also has a good story :)ReplyDelete
You will be amazed! And I bet Enzo will like seeing her by the F-117 and the giant cowboy boots etc. :)ReplyDelete
Anything you think up would be lovely and fun! Let me know when you have a post, pictures and a weather report ready and I'll slide you into the tour :) HAGW too!ReplyDelete
This quilt book sounds really interesting and so colourful. My sister-in-law quilts and infact had one of her quilts in a show and won second place.ReplyDelete
So excited and looking forward to having Phyllis down here with me in NZ. Thankyou Tracy for your lovely comment, pity you didn't join Phyllis in the tour we have room for one more .. :-)
Oh Susanna I have sent my link to your facebook.
"Quiltmaker" is a lovely book! I had read a glowing online review and requested it through interlibrary loan. When it came in, the librarians behind the desk confessed that they had all enjoyed reading it from the "HOLD" shelf until I arrived to bring it home!ReplyDelete
I appreciated Erin's perspective on the pitch - very helpful!
Susanna, I hope you are planning some type of spa relaxation for Phyllis to help her recuperate from jet lag after this whirlwind adventure!!
The cover of this book is amazing. My boys are pretty good listeners, and a lot of nonfiction PBs are longer, so they're used to long books. We'll have to find this one. Hopefully the library has it!ReplyDelete
Let me know if they like it :)ReplyDelete
I'm glad you liked the book, Cathy! And yes, I'm sure Phyllis will need a nap when she gets home :) Did you see she just arrived in France? She's tearing through Nice on a red motorbike!ReplyDelete
I received The Quiltmaker's Gift as a Christmas present several years ago, and I've loved it ever since. Great addition to our PPBFs!ReplyDelete
Phyllis is astonishing. I'm sure that if she could patent her secret for being in so many places at once, she would be the richest groundhog ever known. She's certainly becoming rich in experiences and friendships, anyway.
Glad you like the book, Diane - it's really beautiful. And Phyllis is apparently wreaking havoc in Nice with our friend Joanna - tearing it up on a red motorbike :) Got your link - it should be up.ReplyDelete
Isn't it a lovely book? And yes, Phyllis certainly is growing rich in friends and experiences! She has even made it across the Big Pond and is with our friend Joanna, speeding through nice on a red motorbike. Look out, France! :)ReplyDelete
Not sure if this PB is to my taste, but it's a nice message and the illustrations look rich and full.ReplyDelete
Loving the world tour! You may have created a monster -- how much you wanna bet we'll be seeing a lot more of them in the near future. Genius! :)
Love your book selection. Long ago I made quilts. All members of my family have one I made. Even made one from souvenir T shirts after they were worn by my boys for years. I loved doing it and I think I will love this book. I read Picture books for fun to myself you know. I love them that much. I don't have anyone to read them to anymore. My grandson is almost nine and he only visits several times a year.(which one of them is spring break, a few weeks away) *yay*ReplyDelete
Thanks for keeping us up on The World Tour. Could Northern Virginia be included for when my grandson is here? We could give Phyllis a good time,too.
I know! I've been seeing it pop up all over FB - other people wanting to give it try! I guess I should think "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" or something :) I have to say, though, I'm having so much fun with it - everyone is so creative! :)ReplyDelete
That is SO COOL about your quilts, Clar! I love that everyone in your family has one you made, and I love the idea of making one out of t shirts!ReplyDelete
I, too, read PBs for fun - my kids have outgrown them for now - although at least my granddaughter will be ready pretty soon :)
I'm glad you're enjoying the world tour, and OF COURSE you can be involved - Phyllis has never been to Virginia and isn't scheduled to go, so email me! :)
I love that cover!! So pretty. Off to check out the website--thanks Susanna :)ReplyDelete
Since I am the most craft-impaired mom in the world, I know nothing about quilts or quilting. But my older kids love the long picture books! They are 7 and 9 and can often be found deep into a Patricia Polacco or Chris Van Allsburg selection. I think they would like this one. Thanks, Susanna!ReplyDelete
Hope you like it - it's pretty too :)ReplyDelete
I hope they'll enjoy it! And I love Patricia Polacco!ReplyDelete
This would be a perfect gift for person who loves quilting. (I have two in my family!). I love the colorful cover illustration. I am usually not into wordy picture books, but the way you describe it as lyrical has me intrigued. Thanks for the review. I will look for it the library. Have a great weekend! :)ReplyDelete
I appreciated Erin's feedback, as always!ReplyDelete
I made quilts when I was much younger! And smaller quilted items such as hot water bottle covers!! I actually love the sound of both story and illustrations, and I fall into the slightly older kid bracket that enjoy the longer picture books!
I read this book years and loved the message of giving and taking. I love quilt books, and like Amy love Patricia Polacco's book. This is such a bold and colorful book. I could just sit and look at the pictures all day. Great choice.ReplyDelete
I'll be interested in your opinion if you read it Loni! Have a great weekend too! :)ReplyDelete
Another one I love, but it has so few picture it barely qualifies as a picture book, is The King's Equal. Have you read that? And I love the idea of a hand-quilted hot water bottle cover. If I could sew (which I cannot!) that owl due about the size quilt I could handle :)ReplyDelete
Glad you like it, Pat! If you like it then I feel like I picked a good one :)ReplyDelete
What a great book to add to the list. I added it to my library list. I love the cover and look forward to reading a story the emphasizes the joy of giving.ReplyDelete
Oh...and I can't wait for Phyllis's visit. I have her itinerary all mapped out!ReplyDelete
I hope you enjoy it, Penny - I really like it!ReplyDelete
Well, rumor has it she's on her way! :)ReplyDelete
I have to get that book for my mom. It's a little young for her, but she loves quilting. :)ReplyDelete
You could get her the book on how to make the quilts to go with it - it's on website link!ReplyDelete
Hi Susanna, it's our first time to joinReplyDelete
Susanna, I have seen this book on our shelf but haven't read it. You have linked some great activities and I love the message. I am wondering if our Denton quiltmaker's guild has made a quilt for this book...will have to check! Thanks for bringing this one to my attention. I will have to take it off the shelf and read it!ReplyDelete
I have a few quilter friends who would LOVE this book! I'm going to have to tell them about it!ReplyDelete
Hope they like it :)ReplyDelete
So convenient that you live in a library :)! Let me know if you like it!ReplyDelete
I was shocked while reading this book to my grandchildren! I love quilts. I do not like brainwashing children! I like taking care of others who need help. I do not like the idea that the king had to end up totally poor in order to be happy and give away EVERYTHING. And, what about the quiltmaker? How did she eat? If she made quilts all day and night as the story goes, and none for resale, where did her food and needs for survival come from?ReplyDelete
This book is just another socialist tool to add to and aid our growing socialist USA society. I think we are better served by books teaching things like The Little Engine that Could.
Brilliant and refreshingly not PC analysis. Thanks being the one to shout "the emperor has no clothes" on this book.