Story Blanketby Ferida Wolff
Babba Zarrah has a beautiful woolen sitting blanket, which the children sit on to listen to her stories. Babba Zarrah always says that “every question has an answer,” and when she realizes that the villagers need new clothes, Babba Zarrah begins to unravel her blanket to make them. She makes so many surprises that soon there is no more blanket to sit on
Babba Zarrah has a beautiful woolen sitting blanket, which the children sit on to listen to her stories. Babba Zarrah always says that “every question has an answer,” and when she realizes that the villagers need new clothes, Babba Zarrah begins to unravel her blanket to make them. She makes so many surprises that soon there is no more blanket to sit on. When the villagers discover Babba Zarrah’s secret, they decide to give Babba Zarrah a surprise in return.
Babba Zarrah, a caring and talented senior, lives in a tiny mountain village-perhaps in Russia. She has a large, colorful, knitted blanket upon which the children love to sit as they listen to her stories. Noticing that there are some in the snow-covered village who have needs that she can satisfy, she unravels a bit of wool from the blanket and knits, then secretly delivers warm socks for young Nikolai, who has a hole in his shoe; an extra-long scarf for the postman; and cozy mittens for the schoolmaster to wear when he fetches wood. Each new project leads to thoughts of another, until the story blanket has completely disappeared. Then, it is up to the curious villagers to discover who is creating the gifts and find a way to thank their elderly neighbor for her kindness. Odriozola's charming illustrations make this sweet tale of a close-knit community even more special. The bright colors and delicate patterns in the children's and Babba Zarrah's clothing and the story blanket stand out against stark white backgrounds. A fine brown line surrounds garments and objects, giving some pieces a paper-collage appearance. In contrast, the rounded, rosy-cheeked faces are drawn with the same thin lines and minimal features-tiny dots for eyes, small squiggles for noses, wee marks for mouths. From the spare wood floor and the children clustered in anticipation on the blanket under a potted indoor tree comes a warm invitation to enjoy this sweet story again and again.-Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
Meet the Author
Ferida Wolff worked as a teacher and a journalist before becoming a writer. She lives in the U.S.
Harriet May Savitz has had over 24 books published. She lives in the U.S.
Elena Odriozola has had over 55 books published in her native Spain.
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The Story Blanket is a delightful book for children of all ages. We are never too old to learn the beauty of sharing and how that gift comes back to us many fold. The story reminds us to respect the wisdom of our elders and that each member of a community is of equal value. These lessons are woven throughout a touching tale that children will be eager to read or hear again and again. With the book's charming illustrations and timeless folk tale quality, The Story Blanket should be a perennial favorite in parents' and grandparents' libraries.