``A clever mother stitched the colors up'' to form the baby's patchwork playground/quilt featured in this gentle picture book. Kuskin's ( Paul and City Dog , both reviewed in Children's Forecasts, Mar. 28) brief, lilting text describes the colors and significance of the fabric squares as they are shown being pieced together: ``The green for leaves and fields''; ``Blue sea, blue sky too.'' The soothing tone here works well as a bedtime selection. Mathers's ( Sophie and Lou ) intensely hued paintings capture the serenity and kindness of the mother's caring actions, and also bring the island landscape of the quilt to life. Fish, seagulls and a red sailboat help set a maritime scene for both the baby and for readers. The artist's subtle humor, evident in a swatch of material starring jump-roping, yo-yo-wielding and fiddle-playing lobsters, adds panache. In a sizable author's note, Kuskin describes Canada's Prince Edward Island, where her story is set, in vivid and intimate detail. Ages 3-7. (May)
School Library Journal
PreS-K-In this quiet story-poem, a mother stitches a quilt filled with images of her island home for her toddler. Mathers's inviting folk-art paintings feature vivid landscapes, seascapes, and recognizable creatures-rabbits, cows, sheep, fish-even a snoozing Little Boy Blue. Double-page spreads of the quilt in progress are complemented by cozy scenes of mother and child. The sense of warmth and security that the patchwork symbolizes is evident in both illustrations and narrative. Youngsters will enjoy the lulling rhythm of the poem, but the narration may be beyond their understanding. Lyrical phrases such as ``red that shades to brown'' and roads that ``end like ribbons cut along the edge of blue'' may confuse a preschool audience. Despite the visual appeal of this title, Ann Jonas's The Quilt (Greenwillow, 1984) is more age appropriate and effective for young children.- Heide Piehler, Shorewood Public Library, WI
Using scissors, needle, thread, and a basket of fabric scraps, a mother makes a quilt for her baby. The patchwork, lively with appliqued animals, forms a picture map of the fields, roads, and water around their island home. In the end, the baby plays on the quilt during the day and sleeps under it at night. Although the idea is rather static, the words flow poetically, sometimes rhyming, and the artwork has a folk-art quality that suits the subject. Pictures of the characters and their house appear on single pages, and scenes showing the quilt's landscapes of the island (identified in an afterword as Prince Edward Island) stretch wide across double pages, with the text following the curving lines of the land and the sea. Although the cataloging places this book in the poetry section, librarians may choose to shelve it in the picture-book area.