Dwyer's (Coyote in Love) softly shaded watercolors exude cheeriness and warmth, and her patterns create a coziness befitting her subject, but the artwork is ultimately overwhelmed by the text. As the first snow falls, Katy resumes her goal to finish the quilt Gram had started for her before she died. Katy enlists the aid of her mother, who promises to give her Gram's special scissors when she has mastered her stitches. As Katy struggles with her needle and thread, she and her mother wonder about the significance of the pattern, which is revealed through Katy's dream of migrating cranes. The girl then recognizes the repeating pattern of triangles as cranes, special to Katy from her early childhood dreams, harbingers of spring for the far north and, for Gram (whose scissors are shaped like a crane), a symbol of tradition. Unfortunately, the author hammers the message a bit ("Just as these stitches hold the quilt together, our sewing connects us, you and Gram and me"), and crams into the text a surfeit of homilies ("Gram used to say that quilts are made out of time"; "[Katy] closed her eyes and made a wish that her memories would never disappear like these beautiful snowflakes"). Ages 7-up. (Oct.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
PreS-Gr 4-After her grandmother's death, Katy and her mother find a stack of quilt patches and a note that reads "Kate's quilt." Gram had completed only one piece and it is up to Katy and her mother to finish it. The pattern, Birds in the Air, is revealed to the child in a dream in which she is flying with cranes, her grandmother's favorite birds. She learns about different designs as she and her mother work on the quilt throughout a long Alaska winter. After it is finished, Katy's mother gives her Gram's crane-shaped sewing scissors. When she sleeps beneath the quilt for the first time, the child once again dreams of flying with cranes and sees her grandmother waving from her cabin window. Dwyer's warm, homey illustrations capture the coziness of a snug winter cabin. Mother and daughter sip steaming tea and sew. A black cat appears in every illustration. Despite the alluring art, the slow pace makes for an awkward read-aloud. The wordy text is slightly pedantic and the admirable message of family, home, and tradition is delivered with a heavy hand. This book will appeal to quilters; most children will be better served by Valerie Flournoy's The Patchwork Quilt (Dial, 1985). An author's note about quilting includes information about several different patterns.-Shawn Brommer, Southern Tier Library System, Painted Post, NY Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
paper: 0-88240-521-7 Katy lives in the mountains of Alaska,"where winter came early and stayed late." She misses her grandmother, who died the previous summer. With the help of her mother, she resolves to finish the quilt Gram had started for her as a surprise. As Katy and her mother piece the fabric, they share memories of Grandma, and Mom recounts stories of herself as a girl, struggling with her own first quilt. Mom explains,"We are continuing a tradition by learning to quilt. Traditions are a gift from one generation to the next." Together they finish the quilt, and seeing the pattern of flying cranes, remember how Grandma loved to watch the birds that returned with their families each year. A sentimental tale with rather too much text for the picture-book set, but potential for introducing the art. The author/illustrator here includes many pale, purple-toned scenes showing red-haired, freckled Katy, her elegant mom, a curious black cat, and clips and snips of the quilt. A sweet, rather pedantic tale of families, love, and loss. (author's note on quilt patterns) (Fiction. 7-10)