The Seasons Sewn: A Year in Patchwork

Overview

Informative text about quilt patterns, including Bear's Paw, Trail of the Covered Wagon, and Turkey Tracks, and appealing scratchboard illustrations provide a glimpse of pioneer life and celebrate an American art form. "McCurdy's finely etched illustrations, with their careful attention to detail and old-fashioned flavor, urge upon readers a commanding vision of American history."-Publishers Weekly 10 X 10. Full-color illustrations
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Overview

Informative text about quilt patterns, including Bear's Paw, Trail of the Covered Wagon, and Turkey Tracks, and appealing scratchboard illustrations provide a glimpse of pioneer life and celebrate an American art form. "McCurdy's finely etched illustrations, with their careful attention to detail and old-fashioned flavor, urge upon readers a commanding vision of American history."-Publishers Weekly 10 X 10. Full-color illustrations
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Traditional quilt blocks, with their litany of evocative names "The Trail of the Covered Wagon," "Mariner's Compass" and so on are Paul's Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet device for peering into the past in this handsome volume, and quite an effective device it is. Speculating on the origins of some two dozen designs, she examines both everyday life and historical events-inspired by the pattern "Reel," for instance, Paul describes how women spun flax and wool into thread and yarn, while "Rising Star" sparks a discussion of slaves traveling north to freedom. Grouped by seasons, the historical snippets and small illustrations of quilt patterns are pieced into a stunning visual patchwork crowned by masterful scratchboards. Whether depicting sturdy pioneers crossing the Sierra Nevada, a pastoral farm scene or the candlelit interior of a log cabin, McCurdy's finely etched illustrations, with their careful attention to detail and old-fashioned flavor, urge upon readers a commanding vision of American history. Ages 5-9. Apr.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Some two dozen traditional quilt block designs provide a springboard for a look at pioneer life. The "finely etched illustrations urge upon readers a commanding vision of American history," said PW in a starred review. Ages 6-9. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Children's Literature - Gisela Jernigan
A lively, conversational text, combined with old-fashioned, color scratchboard illustrations, show the reader how beautiful patchwork quilt designs were connected to historical events and the seasonal activities of America's 19th century. Six quilt designs, accompanied by design diagrams and a scene depicting the event or activity, are presented for each season. The author imagines how each design might have been inspired; for example, the Turkey Tracks might have come to a woman's mind as she watched a flock of turkeys being herded on her farm. Some experiences of Native Americans and African Americans are included, helping to make the history culturally diverse. An introduction, author's note and bibliography are included.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-As in her Eight Hands Round HarperCollins, 1991, Paul presents patchwork quilt designs and offers a scenario from early American history to explain possible inspirations behind them. In this title, six patterns are included for each season, representing activities loosely tied to that time of year. The text is accompanied by appealing, colorful scratchboard illustrations that create a strong sense of time and place. Of the 24 patterns, 2 relate directly to the African American experience, and 2 are based on interactions with Native Americans. While the "you" referred to in the introduction is apparently female, the historical information presented here is nongender specific. This book offers an unusual approach to our country's early history, and includes some interesting domestic tidbits, but it should probably be placed on your "additional" rather than your "preferred" purchase list.-Darcy Schild, Schwegler Elementary School, Lawrence, KS
Kirkus Reviews
Artfully constructed images of the early 19th century reflect daily life through the names of patchwork quilt patterns.

In her introduction, Paul (Eight Hands Round: A Patchwork Alphabet, 1991) imagines the life of a rural child in the century following the Declaration of Independence. Then, in sections named for the seasons, she recounts events and activities that may have inspired the names of quilt patterns. "Bear's Paw" describes an encounter with a grizzly, while "Cake Stand" mentions a harvest gathering where the platters, food baskets, and dessert stands decorate an outdoor table. Each page holds one of McCurdy's plainspoken scratchboard illustrations, a paragraph of text, and two quilt blocks: One is the pattern itself, the other is of four blocks together to give a sense of the finished quilt. McCurdy has a following, and quilting is again in vogue, but the elegant architecture of this conceit may have difficulty finding an audience; it's a nice book that somehow fails to sing.

From the Publisher
"So beautiful and so filled with real archetypal patterns that it could easily make quilt lovers, if not quilt makers, of us all.—The New York Times Book Review. "Stunning visual patchwork...A commanding vision of American history."—Publishers Weekly.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152021078
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 6 - 9 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.66 (w) x 9.86 (h) x 0.12 (d)

Meet the Author

Award-winning artist Michael McCurdy has illustrated more than 170 books for adults and children. His books often explore America's past, bringing to life its history and traditions. He lives with his wife, Deborah, on a farm in western Massachusetts.

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