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Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt Hardcover – April 9, 1996


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 and up
  • Hardcover: 1 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (April 9, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 051770904X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0517709047
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 9.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,197,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 1-3?When Selina's Mennonite family decides that they must flee to Canada to avoid persecution as the Civil War is about to break out, her grandmother feels she is too old to make the journey and stays behind in Pennsylvania. She gives Selina the bear-claw patterned quilt top she has been piecing together from scraps of fabric, including snippets from her wedding dress. There are many interesting themes in this book such as the Mennonites' refusal to take sides in a violent conflict and the importance of quilts as a social activity and a strong visual link to family history and relationships. Unfortunately, the story never comes to life. Mennonite beliefs and even a clear indication of which war is about to be fought, while mentioned in the introduction, are not integrated into the main narrative. Smucker fails to make readers feel the pain and drama of the situation. The watercolor illustrations have a sweet romanticized look and often provide closeups of Selina and her grandmother. Despite the book's weaknesses, libraries may still want to consider it. The study of quilts is often used to link social studies, math, and art and a multicultural approach to history should certainly include the Mennonites.?Karen James, Louisville Free Public Library, KY
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4^-8. Based on a true story about a real quilt, this picture book (first published in Canada) tells of a Mennonite child during the Civil War. Because of pacifist beliefs, Selina's family is in danger from both sides and flees from Pennsylvania to safety in Canada. But Grandmother is too old to go along, and Selina is heartbroken to part from her. What keeps them close is Grandmother's gift to Selina: the bear paw quilt that Selina has watched Grandmother stitch together with pieces of cloth that hold memories for every member of the family. The idyllic pictures are bordered by brilliantly colored, minutely detailed, real quilt patterns of astonishing variety; the endpapers show bear paw quilt patterns, and on the back of the book jacket are examples of several more old methods and patterns. An introduction explains the history, but the real focus is on the illustrations, which show and tell the beauty of the quilts. Hazel Rochman

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 13, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt is a wonderful children's book rich with American heritage. It is a tender story about a girl's sadness to leave her Grandmother as their family flees the conflict of Civil War and moves to Canada. Selina finds comfort in her memories found in the fabrics of the quilt her Grandmother sends along with her to Canada.
The illustrations are heart warming and nearly every page has beautifully detailed borders of actual quilts. A thoroughly charming and informative book!
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By Nancy W. Smith on July 7, 2014
Format: Paperback
Great great book and a little history behind it for young and old!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt" is a delightful book. With rich, colorful illustrations that are framed in lively quilts, it brings a flavor of hominess and beauty. The true story of how some Mennonites faced the Civil War is an important part of history for young people--Plain or not--to understand. Many have little understanding of the non-resistant Mennonites, Amish, Dunkards and Hutterites that live throughout the Western Hemisphere. "Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt" gives a warm, sympathetic birds-eye view into the close-knit family relationships, and stalwart faith in Christ--even to the loss of property and personal comfort--which has sustained the Anabaptist people for centuries. My only criticism is about a few of the illustrations. Some head-coverings do not seem to line up with what is commonly worn (the ruffles on Grandma's covering, for example, are more like a Pioneer sunbonnet than what Amish & Mennonites have worn). Hair would be up and covered, not down, when a covering is worn during the day. Other than that...its a treasure!
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Format: Paperback
I recieved this book in a timely manner and it was just as described in the site. The only thing was that was disappointing was the size of the book. I was hoping it ws a little larger which makes it easier to read aloud to my students. Thanks:)
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maria Conzemius on January 22, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great history of Mennonites in America emigrating to Canada during the Civil War. Not politically correct for girls learning to be independent and strong, but wonderful quilting art and a story of love throughout.
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