THE MOON QUILT by Sunny Warner


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 6 - 10
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An old woman prepares for death by stitching her memories into a quilt. One June night she dreams of her husband, who was lost at sea: he is sailing up a rainbow to the moon and growing younger as he approaches. A quiet and poetic text tells how the unnamed protagonist lives her last seasons as she always has, planting pumpkins and lilies and baking pies, but at night sewing a quilt, including in it her garden, the neighborhood children, her husband. The last figures she stitches in are her cat and herself, and in November, she and her cat "rest," closing their eyes. "This is a picture of where they went": the final spread repeats the scene of her now-young husband sailing to the moon, only now he is joined by younger versions of the old woman and the cat. Warner's (Madison Finds a Line, 1999, etc.) folk-arty illustrations are pleasing, but fabric collage elements (mimicking the quilt in the text) dominate the composition of some spreads while remaining absent from others. This is done with no clearly recognizable thematic purpose, creating an uneven visual effect. The notion of consciously and even joyfully preparing for death after a long life is not necessarily inappropriate for children, but the execution of this story is so deliberately and highly metaphorical it will likely escape the grasp of most young readers. (Picture book. 6-10)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-05583-5
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2001