by & & illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 9
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 A bleakly atmospheric story about a rebellious girl reluctant to go to her grandfather's funeral with her mother. At her grandmother's house the night before the service, Josie finds a cemetery quilt stitched by her grandmother's grandmother, whose two sons ``died young.'' It has a pattern of coffins in the border that are added to the center when a family member dies. There's a patch for Josie's father, not previously mentioned or discussed, which comes as an unsettling surprise. If he's dead, why is Josie depicted as someone who only knows about death and funerals from burying a cat? If he's alive, why isn't he at his father's funeral? Josie first pronounces the quilt dark and ugly, but appreciates it more after attending the funeral and viewing the remains. She offers a patch of her own dress for the heirloom. Sometimes a family's customs can appear warmly universal and accessible to all; sometimes they are so personal that only insiders derive comfort from them. It's hard to imagine that this morbid variation on the themes of death and continuity will reassure other children facing loss. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-395-70948-2
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1995