Oma's Quilt

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Overview

The time has come for Emily's grandmother to move. But it's hard to leave her house on Maple Street, filled as it is with a lifetime of cherished memories. At the retirement home, Oma complains about everything, from flowers in the hallway to crooked bowling lanes! Emily wants to see Oma happy again, but she doesn't know what to do. At home, Emily and her mother begin to sort through Oma's possessions. They find ribbons, lace, curtains and blankets. Surrounded by the faded fabrics, Emily now knows the perfect way...
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Overview

The time has come for Emily's grandmother to move. But it's hard to leave her house on Maple Street, filled as it is with a lifetime of cherished memories. At the retirement home, Oma complains about everything, from flowers in the hallway to crooked bowling lanes! Emily wants to see Oma happy again, but she doesn't know what to do. At home, Emily and her mother begin to sort through Oma's possessions. They find ribbons, lace, curtains and blankets. Surrounded by the faded fabrics, Emily now knows the perfect way to keep Oma's memories by her side -- by stitching a one-of-a-kind patchwork quilt! Spirited illustrations enhance this uplifting story about lives in transition and the threads of memory that hold them together.
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Editorial Reviews

Quill & Quire
Oma’s Quilt includes the elements of warmth, comfort, and continuity traditional to a quilt story. However, Bourgeois also adds a couple of twists. This quilt, rather than being the gift of a gentle grandmother to her granddaughter, is a gentle granddaughter’s gift to an Oma cranky enough to dismiss her fellow retirees as nincompoops. Using mixed media, illustrator Stephane Jorisch partners effectively with Bourgeois. His colouful, cartoon-tinged illustrations balance cleverness and sensitivity. Oma’s Quilt tackles the themes of attachment, change, resistance, love, and adjustment. While adults are likely to find the ending simplistic, it will satisfy young children.
Today’s Parent
With spare but spirited text, Bourgeois deftly defines three generations of women, each distinct in voice and circumstance.
Publishers Weekly
The difficult transition from family home to retirement community is poignantly rendered in this cross-generational tale told from a child's viewpoint. Emily tours her grandmother's empty house one last time before taking the reluctant Oma to her new residence. Bourgeois (author of the Franklin series) creates an immediate nostalgic feeling with Emily's observations. (Oma's house "still smells like cabbage soup, warm yeasty dough, lemon polish and vinegar.") Though the subject is bittersweet, the author keeps the story moving in lighthearted fashion, as optimistic Emily offers her impression of Oma's new home: "There are flowers everywhere.... There is a library... and even bowling on Wednesdays!" A displaced Oma is full of complaints ("The bowling alley lanes are crooked and the rental shoes smell funny" and she takes to calling her fellow residents "Nincompoops!"). Jorisch's (As for the Princess: A Folktale from Quebec) sun-drenched watercolors showing plump chairs and sofas in warm colors maintain a cheery mood. As Emily and her mother sort through Oma's now-boxed-up belongings, the girl suggests that they sew a quilt from them; it provides the cure for Oma's sourpuss facade. As Oma fondly looks over the quilt, pictures of events from the woman's past cascade in a joyous full-bleed spread. Author and artist stitch together a heartfelt reminder of the comfort that only the familiar can bring. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
When Emily's grandmother moves to a retirement home, she obviously doesn't like it. Emily and her mother, meanwhile, go through her Oma's things, finding many happy memories, including a quilt made by Oma. Emily decides they should make a new quilt for Oma, using pieces of fabric that will bring back those memories. When they bring it to Oma, she can tell a story about each piece. Emily is glad that it seems to make Oma feel a bit more at home. As our population ages, Oma's story becomes a commonplace piece of life today. Jorisch keeps her sketchy colored drawings, portraits and settings not overly specific, making it easily accepted by many readers. There is brightness¾an emphasis on the positive rather than the dark side of the story. Perhaps Emily's idea could be one for other readers to emulate. 2001, Kids Can Press, $15.95. Ages 4 to 8. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
K-Gr 4-A young girl describes her grandmother's move to a retirement home. The story begins with the two of them sharing one last moment at Oma's house. On a tour of her new residence, the woman expresses her longing for her old house and neighborhood. When Emily and her mom sort through Oma's possessions to decide what to keep or give away, everything evokes a special memory and they are left with only one pile-things to keep. The last box contains a quilt Oma made from grandpa's old shirts, and Emily suggests to her mother that they make one for grandma from her belongings. The quilt becomes Oma's treasure and helps her to adjust to the change. By the end of the story, she is content with her new home. The illustrations are done in soft pastel colors and enhance the peaceful mood of the text. This reassuring story illustrates that people can cope with major changes in their life.-Sheilah Kosco, Rapides Parish Library, Alexandria, LA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
From the Publisher
Oma’s Quilt includes the elements of warmth, comfort, and continuity traditional to a quilt story. However, Bourgeois also adds a couple of twists. This quilt, rather than being the gift of a gentle grandmother to her granddaughter, is a gentle granddaughter’s gift to an Oma cranky enough to dismiss her fellow retirees as nincompoops. Using mixed media, illustrator Stephane Jorisch partners effectively with Bourgeois. His colouful, cartoon-tinged illustrations balance cleverness and sensitivity. Oma’s Quilt tackles the themes of attachment, change, resistance, love, and adjustment. While adults are likely to find the ending simplistic, it will satisfy young children.

With spare but spirited text, Bourgeois deftly defines three generations of women, each distinct in voice and circumstance.

The difficult transition from family home to retirement community is poignantly rendered in this cross-generational tale told from a child’s viewpoint ?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550747775
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 9/28/2001
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Paulette Bourgeois is the author of more than 40 books for children, including the In My Neighborhood series and Oma's Quilt. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Stéphane Jorisch's work has won many awards, including three Governor General's Awards for Illustration. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2002

    Heartwarming

    I checked this book out for my four year old son at the library yesterday because we love the Franklin books. I have cried everytime I have read it. I think it is a great story and I love the link between the grandmother and granddaughter. I am now going to make a quilt of my mother-in-laws clothes for our family. We lost her in March. I think this is a good way to keep her with us. My son talked about his grandma when we read the book. Thank you, Paulette

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