Monday, February 05, 2007

Children's Book Monday

Thank you all for leaving sweet comments and entering my first children's book giveaway!
I put all the names in one of my hubby's baseball caps (Go, Broncos!) and he drew out the name of....

Karen, from The Firstbrook Five!

Congratulations, Karen! You will have your choice of one of the first ten books I reviewed. (I wish I could have entered, since I don't even own them all!)

We'll do this again after ten more reviews, so please keep reading!

I don't think I will be able to do justice to this week's choice. It's just that good. Perhaps you've even already heard of it, and love it too. Well, let's just cozy up and live the story again!

The Quiltmaker's Gift
Story by Jeff Brumbeau
Pictures by Gail de Marcken

Here is a beautiful story, in so many ways. Visually, textually, audibly...such a pleasure. It is the story of an old quiltmaker, who lives in the misty mountains up high. She stitches beautiful, warm quilts, and gives them away to those who need them most - the poor. She pours her love and tenderness into each block, and lovingly wraps them around the shivering shoulders of those sleeping outside in the chill, and for this reason alone, she leaves the mountain on the darkest and coldest nights.

But there is a king in the land who likes nothing better than to receive presents, so he passes a law enabling him to celebrate his birthday twice a year! His subjects are commanded to bring him gifts, and those who do not are sought out by his soldiers.

He owns almost all of the prettiest things in the world - his castle is stacked from top to bottom. But he is not happy - in fact, he never smiles.

When he learns that there is a woman living up on the mountain who has never given him one of her quilts, he sets off with a thousand soldiers to demand one, hoping it will finally make him happy.

The woman refuses, because her quilts are only for those who need them, and she can easily see that he doesn't. The only way she will part with one is if he will make presents of everything he owns, and with each gift that he would give, she would sew in another piece of the quilt.

Of course, the king cannot part with his precious things, and so in his anger, he punishes her, hoping she will change her mind.

This book, so vivid in its illustrations, carries you on a tale that exudes great character; always, the old woman is thinking of others. And when the king finally decides to give away his treasure, he finds the elusive joy he was seeking.

We loved looking at the quilt blocks with their individual names on the inside cover, and then naming each one we saw that corresponded with the story. The woman stitches with a mug of steaming blackberry tea by her side, and lives simply, and simply to give. It is enchanting.

Every page is busy with color, and so much detail. The cat lies on a sweet, colorful little quilt the old woman stitched for him. The king's room full of treasure is a child's dream! There are dolls, soldiers, wagons, bats and balls, balloons, shining armor, cake, unicorns...excess even visible to the child's eye. The tree the old woman sits in for her punishment is full of sparrows, wearing little purple coats she has made for them.

It is beautifully written, beautifully illustrated, with a beautiful lesson. And just when you think you can't get enough of this enchanting tale, I will be back next week, to review its' prequel!

For more Children's Book Monday reviews, click on the graphic in the sidebar. Happy reading!

Now, does anyone know where I can get some blackberry tea? ~smile~

11 fellow travelers shared:

Kendra said...

That sounds like a very sweet book, I'll have to find it. What a wonderful illustration of the joy of giving!
One of my favorite teas is by a company called The Republic of Tea, it's called Blackberry Sage. It's available at most gourmet grocery stores, and you could probably find it online. Mmmmm....

QueenHeroical said...

I love this book and just to let you know there is also ... The Quiltmaker's Journey, which is the back story to who and where the Quiltmaker came from and it is just as good ... We got it for Christmas and the kids love it.

blessings, Krina

Mrs. S said...

This book is going on my Amazon wishlist. It sounds like a lovely read. I really enjoy your reviews. Thank you. Lipton makes a good blackberry tea also. I have some in my kitchen cabinet ... wish you could come over for a cup!

Randi said...

This book sounds wonderful! I am going to look for it at the library this week so we can read it during Aubry's school time!

chickadee said...

i love the way that sounds. you are great at telling about the story. i am putting mine up now. went to bed early last night and forgot about it.

Holly said...

How on earth do you know about ALL of these great books? :)

I must not go to the library enough!

Thank you, Elise. :)

(I am SO sorry about yet another funeral this week. That is truly how it goes. :( I will be praying for you.)

Wendy @ WMF said...

Okay-Now I know what to do ---Next time I have to bribe your husband! :)

We have very much enjoyed The Quiltmaker's Journey and The Quiltmaker's Gift. I also have the companion books that tell how to make the quilts.
A lovely children's book with a sewkng/quilting book tie-in. Those marketing geniuses know just how to get into my wallet!

Cindi said...

There is also a line of fabric out to go with this book. I have one of the embroidery designs. Wouldn't it be fun to make the quilt after reading the book?

Wendy said...

That sounds like a great book. I'll have to look for it. Thanks.

bluemountainmama said...

sounds lovely...i'll have to look for that one......

EEEEMommy said...

Thanks for the reminder!
We borrowed this book from the library a couple of years ago and LOVED it, but I had forgotten about it since!
I am brand new to your blog and came her by way of A Familiar Path. Too bad I missed the contest! LOL
I'm back to reading the other reviews! :)

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