Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts

Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts

by Anna Grossnickle Hines

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Pieces of the seasons appear and disappear in a patchwork pattern making up a year.

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Pieces of the seasons appear and disappear in a patchwork pattern making up a year.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
"In a series of quilted designs worthy of exhibition, Hines illustrates the theme of this deceptively simple, unique collection of poems," wrote PW in a starred review. Ages 5-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In a series of quilted designs worthy of exhibition, Hines (My Own Big Bed) illustrates the theme of this deceptively simple, unique collection of poems: "Pieces of the seasons/ appear and disappear/ in a patchwork pattern/ making up a year." Her language, both playful and adroit, allows readers to see familiar seasonal changes anew. "Good Heavens," for instance, depicts a spring lawn as "astronomical/ with dandelion blooms" that fill the green sky with "a thousand suns/ and then/ a thousand moons." Hines varies her quilt designs as often as she varies her poems' rhythm and rhyme schemes. In one of the longer poems, "Do You Know Green?," the words trickle down the page, much like the light that filters through the trees in the accompanying quilt; both the poem's construction and the long vertical tree trunks emphasize the forest's height and grandeur. Meanwhile, abstract quilts like the one featuring hundreds of flowered squares in "Misplaced?" stress frivolity--in this case, a joke involving a flowerbed where "bloomers are not sleepyheads." An appendix explains Hines's meticulous quilting process. Wearing two hats, Hines takes her quilter's stash of fabric swatches and her wordsmith's metaphors for memories of the seasons, and pieces together a unified, artistic whole. An outstanding book for aspiring quilters or anyone at all. Ages 5-up. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Children's Literature
A feast for the senses lies between the covers of this book. Eye-catching handmade quilts, created by Hines herself, are the backdrops for twenty of her poems about the seasons. The first poem, "Pieces of the seasons/ appear and disappear/ in a patchwork pattern/ making up a year" sets the stage for what is to come. The poems present the sights, sounds and smells of the seasons, beginning in early spring with a crow alighting on a cedar branch. In the subsequent quilts, pastels give way to multi-hued flower beds of summer, followed by the orange and yellows of fall, that give way to shadows and the ice blue shading of a winter night. The poems beg to be read aloud, with strong rhythms, strong images, delightful use of language and onomatopoeia. Hines presents the story behind the quilts and discusses her process at the end of the book. She dedicates the book to her mother who gave her sage advice—"If that's what you want to do, that's what you should do." This is a book for those who love language and images, art and quilts. 2001, Greenwillow, . Ages 5 up. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-Hines has illustrated her mostly free-verse poems about the seasons with quilts. The selections, which describe weather, gardens, and animals, are set against her patchwork designs. The fabric art, done in a broad range of colors, are mostly representational, picturing animals and landscapes. While a few are striking, those that depend on a fabric's print or the quilting pattern come across flatly in reproduction. The poems are nicely descriptive, but not distinguished. The most interesting part for readers may be the two pages at the end that describe the quilting process, with a short bibliography. The quilts in the book are Hines's first, and took her several years to complete. They will certainly inspire young quilters or artists to try something similar, but as a collection of illustrated poems, Pieces fails to stand out.-Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hines (Not Without Bear, 1999, etc.) raises the bar considerably for illustrators working in fabric, pairing 20 new or previously published seasonal poems with spectacular quilted and appliqued piecework scenes. Reproduced in roughly actual size, each piece features combinations of printed and patchwork flowers in glorious profusion, sturdy trees with and without leaves, sunbeams, starry skies, falling rain, and stylized but recognizable animals, all demonstrating dazzling mastery of color and pattern. Though it seems almost unfair, the poetry is brilliant too, evoking the"patchwork pattern / making up a year," from the freshness of early Spring—"Brand new baby yellow green / bright bold biting busy green / until it seems / everywhere one goes / green grows" through a summer lawn"astronomical / with dandelion blooms," to Autumn's falling leaves—"some float / lazily / wavily / and taking all / daysily ..." The quilts each have unique individual characters, but there is a strong overall consistency of style too, and since they were designed as illustrations, the unity of text and picture is (paradoxically) seamless. And they are so exquisitely reproduced that the temptation is to touch the page to feel the fabric. Hines explains in a postscript how the quilts came to be, and provides sources of information for novice quilters—but even readers with no interest in the craft will stop in their tracks to admire this tour de force. (Poetry. 6-9)

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Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
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Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.00(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt


Papa Wren stops
on the rock
the rosebush,
tasty tidbit in his beak.
this way...
that way...
behind the ferns
to the nest
where Mama sits
warming eggs
and waiting
for Papa's tasty bits.

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