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STITCHIN’ AND PULLIN’ by Patricia C. McKissack Kirkus Star


A Gee’s Bend Quilt

by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Age Range: 6 - 12

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-375-83163-8
Publisher: Random House

McKissack’s series of poems tells the story of and honors the history of the women quilters of Gee’s Bend, Ala. For years, these emancipated former slaves existed out of the mainstream before being “discovered” and celebrated for preserving a unique way of life. The women’s quilts pay tribute to their lives’ major events, such as registering to vote and marching with Martin Luther King Jr., and the process of quilting serves as a critical way to pass on to their children songs and family stories, and, of course, how to quilt. Baby Girl is at the center of the book, growing from a little one who plays on a quilt under the ladies’ quilting frame to a girl who pieces together her own story and learns how to quilt it. Cabrera’s vibrant paintings incorporate collage elements in both somber and vibrant colors that reflect struggles for freedom along with the collaborative warmth of quilting parties. An outstanding way to introduce aspects of African-American history and explore the power of community. (Picture book/poetry. 6-12)