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STORY QUILTS by Shannon Hitchcock


Appalachian Women Speak

by Shannon Hitchcock ; illustrated by Sophie Page

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-4788-7537-6
Publisher: Reycraft Books

The scraps of Appalachian lives, forgotten by many, persist in the memories marked by thread and bits of cloth.

Green pines, blue mountains, and star-frosted skies peek out of squares stitched together by weathered hands that cooked, cleaned, canned, and gardened all day long. Quilts that would one day hang in museums lovingly sheltered families on cold Blue Ridge nights. Girls would watch their mamas until one day their young hands learned to gather squares and form quilts of their own. Hitchcock’s quiet homage is humbling. The author’s note details the resourcefulness of these women who endured poverty and often lacked formal schooling yet could turn feed sacks into songs of love. Page’s earth-toned art, made out of clay, paper, wire, and fabric, fills the pages with mountain life. Hands guiding needles pop out of scenes. Cut-out flowers, appliqued dogs and fish, intricate stars, and textured images animate the narrative. Hitchcock makes clear that hardship couldn’t silence these women’s stories, told in the language of embellished pieces of worn fabric. Illustrations depict light-skinned characters, though one child appears to be darker-skinned. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

A loving tribute to perseverance and inner strength.

(Picture book. 6-10)