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THE NAME QUILT by Phyllis Root


by Phyllis Root & illustrated by Margot Apple

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: April 10th, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-35484-7
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A child and her grandmother forge a new link to their family’s past after an old one is lost. Sadie’s vacation days with Grandma always end with a tale; Sadie will point to a name embroidered on her bed’s old quilt, and Grandma will recall how once, while harvesting walnuts, Grandpa Francis encountered a bear doing the same, or how Aunt Avonelle liked to ride hogs when she was a youngster, and so on. But after Sadie and Grandma are caught away from the house by a wild storm, and return to find the quilt has vanished from the clothesline, Sadie is distraught to think that the stories are all lost. Grandma knows better: “Hush your crying now. . . . You think I need a quilt to remember for me?” Sadie discovers that she can still visualize the names, too, so together the two set out to remake the quilt, with a new patch for “Sadie.” Apple’s (Runaway Radish, not reviewed, etc.) soft-focus rural scenes complement the tale’s warm, intimate tone perfectly. A low-key alternative to Blumenthal’s Aunt Claire’s Yellow Beehive Hair (2001) or Patricia Polacco’s intergenerational stories. (Picture book. 6-8)