Reviews for Quiltmaker's Gift


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 January 2000
Ages 5^-8. A generous quilt maker and a greedy king provide the grist for a delightful moral tale. An old woman crafts exquisite quilts that she gives only to the poor. The king loves possessions and demands gifts. When he learns the quilt maker has not given him a gift, he demands a quilt. She refuses. Soldiers can't convince her, nor does being chained inside a bear's cave or being abandoned on a tiny island. She'll agree only if he gives away all his things. For each gift he gives, she will sew a piece in his quilt. At first, he can part only with a marble. But the more he gives, the more joy he discovers. The lush, colorful illustrations, which include 250 patterns hidden in the pictures, feature dazzling displays of the king's gifts and the quilts that will keep children happily entertained. Included is notation of a Web site, with information about quilting, the illustrator, and the author, and reference to other stories about generous people. A puzzle poster is printed on the inside of the jacket. ((Reviewed January 1 & 15, 2000)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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ForeWord Reviews 1999 November
In the mountains, an ancient woman creates beautiful quilts incorporating all the colors of nature. Though many wish to purchase these works of art, she refuses, and will only donate her quilts to those who are poor or homeless. In the valley lives a greedy, unhappy king, whose castle is stuffed with presents from his subjects. Thinking a quilt would be just the thing to finally make him smile, he demands one from the old woman. What she gives him instead is a lesson about the true nature of happiness, which of course has nothing to do with how full one's castle might be. Brumbeau's charming fable, set in some unspecified time and place, is a thinly veiled commentary on our modern culture of consumerism and conspicuous consumption. Using this story along with other quilt books, such as Sam Johnson and the Blue Ribbon Quilt (Morrow), would be a nice way to show how quilting incorporates so many fine traditional virtues such as thrift, creativity and generosity. Gail de Marcken's bright watercolor illustrations are crowded with details that often expand the text. These pictures invite careful inspection by the reader, and children will delight in discovering small drawn stories within each page. Quilt patterns and names are also painted on the endpapers, and a kind of seek-and-find puzzle is printed on the cover's verso. A website directs readers to more puzzles, information about quilting and sites for charitable giving. This book, about the art of giving, would make a lovely gift itself. Leigh Forrest Copyright 1999 ForeWord Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1999 October #1
A sentimental tale overwhelmed by busy illustrations and rampant pedantry. A gifted quiltmaker who makes outstanding quilts never sells her wares, but gives them away to the poor. A greedy king so loves presents that he has two birthdays a year, and commands everyone in the kingdom to give him gifts. Everyone brings presents till the castle overflows; the king, still unhappy, locates the quiltmaker and directs her to make him a quilt. When she refuses he tries to feed her to a hungry bear, then to leave her on a tiny island, but each time the quiltmaker's kindness results in her rescue. At last, the king agrees to a bargain; he will give away his many things, and the quiltmaker will sew him a quilt. He is soon poor, but happier than he's ever been, and she fulfills her end of the bargain; they remain partners forever after, with her sewing the quilts and him giving them away. The illustrations are elaborate, filled with clues to quilt names. A note points to the 250 different quilt names hidden in the picture on the inside of the book jacket. (Picture book. 6-10) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1999 October #2
As intricately worked as a patchwork quilt, de Marcken's (Born to Pull) fanciful watercolors are the highlight of this somewhat pedestrian fable. Rich but dissatisfied, a king demands a quilt from a gifted quiltmaker, but she refuses unless he gives away all his material possessions. The irate monarch twice attempts to punish her but both times she foils him. Finally he agrees to her demand, growing progressively happier with each thing that he gives away. Brumbeau's overlong tale treads a well-worn trail here, hampered by bursts of overwrought prose ("the king's great sunny laugh made green apples fall and flowers turn his way"). The artwork achieves a dizzying, quilted look with lush full-page illustrations in cotton-candy colors sharing a spread with saucy vignettes; "the king could not sleep" for instance, inspires a droll four-panel peek at the restless fellow tossing and turning in bed. De Marcken pays homage at every turn to the quiltmaker's craft. Each section of text appears on a plain cream "block" with stitching around the edges, and the endpapers sport an array of labeled quilt patterns. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1999 November #1
As intricately worked as a patchwork quilt, de Marcken's (Born to Pull) fanciful watercolors are the highlight of this somewhat pedestrian fable. Rich but dissatisfied, a king demands a quilt from a gifted quiltmaker, but she refuses unless he gives away all his material possessions. The irate monarch twice attempts to punish her but both times she foils him. Finally he agrees to her demand, growing progressively happier with each thing that he gives away. Brumbeau's overlong tale treads a well-worn trail here, hampered by bursts of overwrought prose ("the king's great sunny laugh made green apples fall and flowers turn his way"). The artwork achieves a dizzying, quilted look with lush full-page illustrations in cotton-candy colors sharing a spread with saucy vignettes; "the king could not sleep" for instance, inspires a droll four-panel peek at the restless fellow tossing and turning in bed. De Marcken pays homage at every turn to the quiltmaker's craft. Each section of text appears on a plain cream "block" with stitching around the edges, and the endpapers sport an array of labeled quilt patterns. Ages 4-8. (Oct.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information. Copyright 1999 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 2000 February
Gr 1-4-A charitable seamstress makes beautiful quilts that she gives to the needy and poor. When a greedy king hears of the marvelous creations, he demands that she sell him one. She refuses, but says that she will give him one if he gives away all of his possessions. The angry monarch tries to force her to bend to his will. Unsuccessful, he begins to travel the world giving away his amassed treasures. When he returns to the village, a happier man in ragged clothing, she presents him with a beautiful quilt. The sweet story will warm the hearts of readers, but it is the illustrations that bring the book to life. The realistic watercolors are a patchwork of rich, vibrant color. They resonate with fabric patterns, though the overall effect is slightly busy. Each spread includes a corresponding pattern (the Bear's Paw block reflects the quilter's encounter with a bear). One spread has many quilt-block names hidden in the pictures; unfortunately, the search game detailed on the verso of the dust jacket will be lost to libraries that cover it in plastic. A useful book for teaching values or for quilt units.-Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Aloha, OR Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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