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Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts Hardcover – February 20, 2001


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: GreenWilBk; 1st edition (February 20, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688169635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688169633
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 9.3 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,387,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In a series of quilted designs worthy of exhibition, Hines (My Own Big Bed) illustrates the theme of this deceptively simple, unique collection of poems: "Pieces of the seasons/ appear and disappear/ in a patchwork pattern/ making up a year." Her language, both playful and adroit, allows readers to see familiar seasonal changes anew. "Good Heavens," for instance, depicts a spring lawn as "astronomical/ with dandelion blooms" that fill the green sky with "a thousand suns/ and then/ a thousand moons." Hines varies her quilt designs as often as she varies her poems' rhythm and rhyme schemes. In one of the longer poems, "Do You Know Green?," the words trickle down the page, much like the light that filters through the trees in the accompanying quilt; both the poem's construction and the long vertical tree trunks emphasize the forest's height and grandeur. Meanwhile, abstract quilts like the one featuring hundreds of flowered squares in "Misplaced?" stress frivolity--in this case, a joke involving a flowerbed where "bloomers are not sleepyheads." An appendix explains Hines's meticulous quilting process. Wearing two hats, Hines takes her quilter's stash of fabric swatches and her wordsmith's metaphors for memories of the seasons, and pieces together a unified, artistic whole. An outstanding book for aspiring quilters or anyone at all. Ages 5-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-4-Hines has illustrated her mostly free-verse poems about the seasons with quilts. The selections, which describe weather, gardens, and animals, are set against her patchwork designs. The fabric art, done in a broad range of colors, are mostly representational, picturing animals and landscapes. While a few are striking, those that depend on a fabric's print or the quilting pattern come across flatly in reproduction. The poems are nicely descriptive, but not distinguished. The most interesting part for readers may be the two pages at the end that describe the quilting process, with a short bibliography. The quilts in the book are Hines's first, and took her several years to complete. They will certainly inspire young quilters or artists to try something similar, but as a collection of illustrated poems, Pieces fails to stand out.
Nina Lindsay, Oakland Public Library, CA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2001
Format: Library Binding
Lyrical poems celebrating the seasons are illustrated with miniature quilts (12" x 18"). Mary Grossnickle Hines as an author writes short poems that are wonderfully evocative. Hines as a quilter has created exquisite fabric pictures. This will surely be one of the Caldecott '02 finalists and it certainly gets my vote as the winner.
(I am a librarian and a quilter.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By mcHaiku on March 20, 2006
Format: Library Binding
Anna Hines' imagination has brought us this bright combination of her 19 quilts and seasonal poems. Would-be quilters can be encouraged because not all of the piecing is perfect (& therefore intimidating!). Each turning page brings a new kaleidescopic "ballet" of color, from the dark crows in the cedar tree to the changing palette of an early Spring sky. The words of previously published "Just When I Thought" are wonderfully appropriate at the time of year when skies are moody and change so poetically.

Later the coiled skunk cabbage leaves burst into green, surrounded by all the marvelous uncountable shades that keep us awe-struck from March through June. God's greens are joined by a heavenly fire-shower of golds & silver: dandelion fluff is blown to the skies. Then lavendars blanket a tiny kitchen garden as I imagine the author's "Mirage" : "Oh, phlox, I like the way you make the garden floor a purple lake." Hines' autumn leaves fall "taking all daysily" and because they don't melt she writes an "Ode to a Rake." Winter casts shadows of naked branches, and just when the grays intrude two yellow roses bloom to chase away dark feelings.

Flowers and colors burst everywhere in this lovely tribute to America's true art form: Quilting. Reviewer mcHAIKU predicts this book will charm many children into sharing their happy stories about favorite images & colors. Anna Hines' quilts are brilliant, spirit-lifting bouquets. There are helpful notes by the author, and bibliography, etc., and they will doubtless help to nudge you toward pursuing either writing or stitching of your own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Marie Mejac on April 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I have two children (5 & 7) and BOTH love this book! The quilts are simply beautiful and the poems short and fun (easy) to read. This is a great book to start children enjoying more "adult" sounding poetry and not nursery rhymes. We talk about what the poems mean and look at the patterns and colors of the quilts. My mother is a quilter and I sew as well, so we talk about how quilts are made and quilts as an art form. I am so glad it is a favorite with them, because I sure love the book too!!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By MLPlayfair on May 10, 2002
Format: Hardcover
There are many things to admire in the book PIECES. First, the quilts. She came up with these gorgeous, fascinating designs that are so lovely, you'll find yourself staring at each for a long time. The stitching: so original. The photography: catches every detail, each stitch, the texture of the fabric. The printing: the color matching is so superb, it should win a prize. The poetry: Here I'm not handing out any prizes, but it is fun to read. (It's recommended for ages 5 and up.) Here's a bit I found especially delightful, from "Misplaced?":
"In a mass of wild confusion flowers bloom in great profusion, brilliant dazzling bold infusion, pink-blue purple stimulation, red-gold-yellow conflagration, rousing raucous celebration, stirring us to jubilation, echoing the exultation of their bright and vibrant show!"
It's a short book; there are only about 22 quilts in the whole thing. (The theme is the seasons of the year.) She talks about the making of the quilts at the back of the book. My thought is that this combination of the visual and poetic can stir the imagination. Get your children to try to match up the pieces of fabric within the pictures and from one to another.
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By Linda Austin on January 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a beautiful and creative collection of nature-designed quilts sure to delight anyone who appreciates the art of quilting. Accompanying poems range from the adequate to the lovely vision of dandelions... "one thousand suns and then a thousand moons that with a puff of wind becomes a hundred thousand stars." While the quilt illustrations may appeal more to adults, moms who enjoy sewing and quilting will find this a great opportunity to share their love of beautiful fabric creations with their kids. I rate this 4 stars for kids, 5 stars for adults.
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Format: Paperback
Anna Grossnickle Hines, Pieces: A Year in Poems and Quilts (Greenwillow Books, 2001)

I'm not sold an Anna Grossnickle Hines as a poet, based on this volume--the poems feel more like fifth-grade classroom exercises than they do poems--but that's not really what this book is about, is it? The star attraction here is the quilts, and that's what your kids will return to when they flip this book open themselves. Beautiful craftsmanship, well-shot, with enough differences in approach and strategy to keep things interesting. ** ½
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More About the Author

I have been creating books for children for thirty years, with over sixty published titles. In that time I have seen many changes, from the early limited color and pre-separated art of such books as DADDY MAKES THE BEST SPAGHETTI--which I am very proud to say has been in print for twenty-five years--through full color and now digital art. I still enjoy being challenged and learning and trying new things.

It was working with a traditional art form--quilts--used untraditionally as illustrations for my poetry, that led me to doing more and more designing with the computer, and eventually, to creating completely digital art for some of my books.

I am now exploring the world of picture book apps, along with my husband, three daughters, and two son-in-laws in our newly formed company, appropo. We have a great mix of skills and have lots of fun working together creatively. Even the grandkids are getting involved. Check out the trailer for I AM A TYRANNOSAURUS and watch for our website at www.appropo.co.

Wherever my personal and professional life takes me, you can be sure it will involve children. I believe that all children are miraculous, and love to share in their fresh open-hearted discovery of the world.


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