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PIECES by Anna Grossnickle Hines Kirkus Star

PIECES

A Year in Poems & Quilts

By Anna Grossnickle Hines (Author) , Anna Grossnickle Hines (Illustrator)

Age Range: 6 - 9

Pub Date: March 31st, 2001
ISBN: 0-688-16963-5
Publisher: Greenwillow/HarperCollins

Hines (Not Without Bear, 1999, etc.) raises the bar considerably for illustrators working in fabric, pairing 20 new or previously published seasonal poems with spectacular quilted and appliqued piecework scenes. Reproduced in roughly actual size, each piece features combinations of printed and patchwork flowers in glorious profusion, sturdy trees with and without leaves, sunbeams, starry skies, falling rain, and stylized but recognizable animals, all demonstrating dazzling mastery of color and pattern. Though it seems almost unfair, the poetry is brilliant too, evoking the “patchwork pattern / making up a year,” from the freshness of early Spring—“Brand new baby yellow green / bright bold biting busy green / until it seems / everywhere one goes / green grows” through a summer lawn “astronomical / with dandelion blooms,” to Autumn’s falling leaves—“some float / lazily / wavily / and taking all / daysily . . .” The quilts each have unique individual characters, but there is a strong overall consistency of style too, and since they were designed as illustrations, the unity of text and picture is (paradoxically) seamless. And they are so exquisitely reproduced that the temptation is to touch the page to feel the fabric. Hines explains in a postscript how the quilts came to be, and provides sources of information for novice quilters—but even readers with no interest in the craft will stop in their tracks to admire this tour de force. (Poetry. 6-9)