A Korean story from the late 19th century is the basis for this irresistible teaching tale about cooperation, respect for tools and sewing.
The first page will captivate young readers and listeners at once: “Long, long ago when tigers still smoked pipes…” The seamstress Lady Hahn's seven friends are Mrs. Ruler, Newlywed Scissors, Young Bride Needle, Young Bride Red Thread, Old Lady Thimble, Young Lady Flatiron and Little Miss Iron. Each of the tools insists that she is the most important of all: Mrs. Ruler, because she can measure accurately; Old Lady Thimble, because she protects Lady Hahn's thumb; and so on. Lady Hahn herself retires for a nap after reminding her friends that nothing happens without her hands. The seven go off in high dudgeon to hide, and Lady Hahn, upon awakening, finds she can do nothing without them. They return the next morning, softened by Lady Hahn's tears, and all is well. Heo's oil and pencil on thick paper make geometric shapes and sweet patterns. Each figure has her own hairstyle, costume and expression, and their body shapes reflect their capacities. Lady Hahn herself has a wonderful crown of braids, an orange silk shirt and a black patterned skirt.
Delicate but strong imagery and a lighthearted touch with pattern and placement make the art of sewing and good cooperation quite enough to make a story. (Picture book. 4-7)