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Cemetery Quilt
     

Cemetery Quilt

by Kent Ross, Alice Ross, Roseanne Kaloustian (Illustrator)
 
Josie doesn't want to go to a funeral -- especially when it's a funeral for her grandfather. But after learning of a unique family tradition from her grandmother, she begins to feel comfort in the sense of family and belonging it signifies. "Kaloustian's illustrations evoke the somber mood of the story and reflect the wide range of the characters' emotions." --

Overview

Josie doesn't want to go to a funeral -- especially when it's a funeral for her grandfather. But after learning of a unique family tradition from her grandmother, she begins to feel comfort in the sense of family and belonging it signifies. "Kaloustian's illustrations evoke the somber mood of the story and reflect the wide range of the characters' emotions." -- Booklist

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 1-4-On the night before her beloved Papaw's funeral, Josie discovers an ugly old quilt in Granny's closet. It has cloth coffins sewn on the edges and in the middle, and each one bears a name. Granny explains the nature of the heirloom-when a family member dies, his or her coffin is moved to the central square. The girl is horrified, but her grandmother reassures her that it's ``...just a grievin' thing.'' At the funeral, Josie realizes (thanks to Granny) that Papaw's body is a shell and nothing to fear, and finally requests that she have a place on the cemetery quilt, too. The theme is intriguing, the writing evocative, and the tone forthright, but the emotional transitions are rough-the characters just don't have time to develop. Josie's initial thoughts about the funeral and the quilt are so believably negative that it's jarring when she comes around. And the ending, with its touch of black humor, is abrupt as well: "`Granny, who'll bury you when you die?' Granny smiled with surprise. `Why, someone who loves a fat ugly old woman, I guess.'" Kaloustian's appropriately somber paintings, done in muddy, earthy tones, convey a lot of feeling. This odd, morbid book is more likely to perplex than comfort readers; then again, they might just shake their heads, put it down, and move on.-Vanessa Elder, School Library Journal
Kay Weisman
When Josie's grandfather dies, the family travels to Grandmother's house for the burial. Josie is upset and tries to avoid the funeral completely, especially after she discovers the family cemetery quilt, a dark coverlet appliqued with white fabric coffins that are embroidered with family members' names. The outer ring of caskets denotes living family members; the inner one signifies relatives who have died. Eventually, Josie attends the funeral, which helps her come to terms with her grief, and her grandmother helps her accept the family quilt as a symbol of belonging and a source of solace. Kaloustian's illustrations evoke the somber mood of the story and reflect the wide range of the characters' emotions. The quilt may seem gruesome to some readers; others will find comfort in its message.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780395709481
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
Publication date:
09/01/1995
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.47(w) x 10.31(h) x 0.37(d)
Lexile:
500L (what's this?)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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