The Log Cabin Quilt by Ellen Howard, Ronald Himler |, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
The Log Cabin Quilt

The Log Cabin Quilt

by Ellen Howard, Ronald Himler

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When Elvirey and her family move to a log cabin in the Michigan woods, something even more important than Granny's quilt pieces makes the new dwelling a home.


When Elvirey and her family move to a log cabin in the Michigan woods, something even more important than Granny's quilt pieces makes the new dwelling a home.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Pat Metz
Young Elvirey has just buried her mother in Carolina. Now the family is moving by wagon to the woods of Michigan, and Elvirey's main concern is how to make their cabin a home without her mother or any of her mother's things. Through the quilting scraps, which her Grandmother had insisted on bringing in the wagon with them, Elvirey, her brother and sister make a unique Log Cabin Quilt. This surprise breaks her father's silence and makes their cabin home.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 3-4After burying her mother and loading up the wagon, Elvirey and her family leave their Carolina home for the Michigan woods. Granny insists on taking her quilting scraps, though space in the wagon is tight and many precious possessions must be left behind. When they reach their new home, Elvirey doesn't feel she really belongs. It's not until the cold winter hits and she uses Granny's quilt scraps to chink the log cabin walls that the cabin feels like home. How Elvirey faces a new life and copes with her loss are woven together in this sentimental but touching picture book. Elivrey emerges as a heroine of quiet strength. Though she has an air of bewilderment, she keeps trying to make her world right and comfortable again. The hard journey and the sense of loneliness and sadness are well captured in both the text and illustrations. Earth-toned watercolors add just the right touch to this gentle story. The universal themes of moving and loss of a parent transcend time and are well captured. This selection could also be used to introduce pioneer units.Jane Claes, T. J. Lee Elementary School, Irving, TX
Kirkus Reviews
An atmosphere of restrained grief and quiet struggle suffuses this almost inspirational story from Howard (A Different Kind of Courage, p. 170, etc.) that draws on the experiences of 19th- century pioneers.

The story opens as Elvirey's family—grandmother, father, sister, and brother—buries her mother and leaves Carolina by wagon for Michigan. Their father is against bringing along Mam's things—"There ain't no room for suchlike," Pap says. Granny defiantly brings along a bag of quilting scraps, saying, "I aim to set on it." After a long trip west, they clear the land and build a log cabin, but it never feels like home. One cold fall day Pap leaves them all to go hunting. Night falls and the cabin grows colder and lonelier. As the moss and dirt between the logs freeze and fall out, Elvirey chinks the walls with fabric scraps, making the "log cabin quilt" of the title. Pap, on his return, says, "Your mam would be proud. The place is downright homey." Elvirey observes that it isn't the scraps but "Mam's name said out loud" that makes the cabin home. Himler's soft pencil and watercolor paintings show unusual grace and are most affecting in the spot illustrations and exterior scenes. The interiors are darker, and quite accurately, muddier. This meditation on a small triumph over loss will add humanity to school units on the pioneers.

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
9.75(w) x 7.92(h) x 0.14(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

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