Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts About Peace

by Anna Grossnickle Hines
     
 

In this evocative collection of poems illustrated by beautiful handmade quilts, Anna Grossnickle Hines explores peace in all its various and sometimes surprising forms: from peace at home to peace on a worldwide scale to peace within oneself. Pondering the meaning of peace and its fleeting nature, this book compels each of us to discover and act upon peace

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Overview

In this evocative collection of poems illustrated by beautiful handmade quilts, Anna Grossnickle Hines explores peace in all its various and sometimes surprising forms: from peace at home to peace on a worldwide scale to peace within oneself. Pondering the meaning of peace and its fleeting nature, this book compels each of us to discover and act upon peace ourselves.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hines pairs poems with images of her handmade quilts to reflect on the theme of peace. Several works focus on individual relationships: when two sisters fight, their mother makes them face each other at close range, which diffuses their anger into laughter ("It's hard to keep on fighting/ when you're touching nose to nose"). Poems like "Soldier Daddy" are socially resonant: "Daddy?/ Are you not listening again?/ Are you still sad from the war?" Often Hines needs just a few words to convey oceans of meaning: "Peace Is/ when all/ of them/ are us." The beauty and painstaking detail evident in each quilt brings the book's vision a stitch closer. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
For centuries people have made quilted fabrics for warmth and protection, sometimes as clothing (even armor), sometimes as bedcovers. Many quilts from the past are now regarded as works of art for their craftsmanship, colors, and designs. Some quilters, like Hines and others, make quilting a medium for illustration of books (see Faith Ringgold's Tar Beach, Crown, 1991). Though an abstract concept like peace is difficult to explain through images, especially to children, in this large square format book quilts accompany short poems about peace in various forms. Hines comes at the idea in small doses, through reflections on nature, kindness to others, getting along with siblings, controlling anger and harsh words, and (one of the best) the effects of war on a soldier's small son. Introducing famous peacemakers, she uses silk-screened heads of icons like Mother Teresa, Jimmy Carter, Mohandas Gandhi, and Martin Luther King; eight blue heads on a busy blue and black background may be informative, but are not outstandingly aesthetic. Some of the double-page quilts (reproduced in original size) use garish colors or banal shapes (a fawn, cute little girls, butterflies)—reaction to these is, of course, a matter of individual taste. The most satisfying quilt is stitched on an olive batik fabric with appliques of a boy in a kayak on a rippled pond, pools topped by red and gold leaves; its three poems are simple and effective. Hines includes interesting information on making her intricate quilts—choosing fabrics, cutting and stitching, and finally, quilting. While producing quilts in a classroom may be hard to do in many schools, young children inspired by Hines's work could write poems about peace (or any topic), and designing and creating collages with paper, fabrics, and found objects to make their own "quilt" books. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft
School Library Journal
Gr 1–5—Using exquisitely detailed handmade quilts as a backdrop, Hines's poems explore the overarching themes of peace, understanding, tolerance, and friendship. The diverse selections illustrate the ways in which peace relates to everyday life and are presented in a variety of formats and contexts. For example, one poem is told from the perspective of a child whose father came back from war a changed man. Another uses the game of dominoes as a metaphor for the idea that human beings influence one another in far-reaching ways. The quilts that accompany the selections serve to expand upon their themes and create an interesting contrast to the text. Children will be fascinated by the painstakingly intricate stitching, bold colors, and poignant imagery. In an author's note, Hines describes her writing and quilt-making processes. Mini-biographies of eight influential peacemakers, including Mother Teresa and Gandhi, are included. This book would be perfect for reading aloud and also appropriate for independent reading by poetry-loving children. Because of its unique presentation and breadth of subjects, Peaceful Pieces would be a good companion to Vladimir Radunsky's What Does Peace Feel Like? (S & S, 2004). While some of the poems are more moving than others, the collection as a whole underscores the importance of people finding common ground despite their differences.—Rita Meade, Brooklyn Public Library, NY
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews
Hines' art is always beautiful; she illustrates her work with astonishing quilts, reproduced full-size, in a variety of designs: In this work she uses black-and-white reverse patterns, mosaic-type images, photographs made into quilt patterns and lots and lots of gorgeous color. She uses this abundance of styles in her poems, too, offering acrostic, haiku, rhymed and free verse as well as concrete poetry ("Peace. Pass it on," repeats over and over around a quilted globe, held by quilted hands of many colors, including orange and purple). In "What If?" she muses, "What if guns / fired marshmallow bullets, / and bombs burst / into feather clouds / sending us into fits / of giggles? What if / we all died / laughing?" It is very difficult to write about peace for children—or anyone else—without sinking into bathos or pure sappiness, and this collection doesn't always rise above, but these missteps are small. Brief paragraphs about various peacemakers at the back, including two children (Samantha Smith, 1972–1985, and Mattie Stepanek, 1990–2004), tether the poems to reality; her description of making the quilts and the support of her quilters' group is wonderful in and by itself for both children and adults to read. A poem about two sisters made to stand nose-to-nose until they stop fighting and dissolve into giggles is a truly fine idea—wonder if it would work with world leaders?(Picture book/poetry. 5-10)
Kirkus Reviews
Hines' art is always beautiful; she illustrates her work with astonishing quilts, reproduced full-size, in a variety of designs: In this work she uses black-and-white reverse patterns, mosaic-type images, photographs made into quilt patterns and lots and lots of gorgeous color. She uses this abundance of styles in her poems, too, offering acrostic, haiku, rhymed and free verse as well as concrete poetry ("Peace. Pass it on," repeats over and over around a quilted globe, held by quilted hands of many colors, including orange and purple). In "What If?" she muses, "What if guns / fired marshmallow bullets, / and bombs burst / into feather clouds / sending us into fits / of giggles? What if / we all died / laughing?" It is very difficult to write about peace for children—or anyone else—without sinking into bathos or pure sappiness, and this collection doesn't always rise above, but these missteps are small. Brief paragraphs about various peacemakers at the back, including two children (Samantha Smith, 1972–1985, and Mattie Stepanek, 1990–2004), tether the poems to reality; her description of making the quilts and the support of her quilters' group is wonderful in and by itself for both children and adults to read. A poem about two sisters made to stand nose-to-nose until they stop fighting and dissolve into giggles is a truly fine idea—wonder if it would work with world leaders?(Picture book/poetry. 5-10)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805089967
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
03/29/2011
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
637,856
Product dimensions:
9.70(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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