From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5–In this prequel to The Quiltmaker's Gift
(Pfeifer-Hamilton, 1999), Brumbeau and de Marcken tell the story of this generous artisan's early life. As a young girl, the protagonist lives the grand life of a wealthy child in a land where poverty is unknown, but she is not happy. One night she slips out of the walled city and finds the world beyond, scarred by poverty and need. She has little with her, but kind strangers help her on her journey, where she finds happiness through giving. When she returns to her walled home, the elders reject her idea to give her wealth to the needy, and she is turned out of the city. She becomes a quiltmaker, and the rest is history. The brightly detailed and realistic watercolor illustrations will give children plenty to pore over, but the plodding story is overwhelmingly didactic and much too sweet to appeal to a wide audience.–Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR
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K-Gr. 3. In this prequel to The Quiltmaker's Gift
(1999), a young woman born into great wealth risks banishment to see what lies beyond the walls of her town, encounters poverty and disease, and resolves to help the poor. The theme of out-of-control materialism segues into an exciting quest story, but what really distinguishes this are the vivid, intricately designed watercolors, double-page spreads with insets of varying size that add drama and action to the main story. The inside of the jacket is an elaborate puzzle-poster showing the book's setting and action from a panoramic perspective. The endpapers display and name 34 quilt patterns, presented in full color, many of which (in a different color combination) are set beside the boxed text, serving as clues to the heroine's journey; a pattern called "Twist and Turn," for example, accompanies text describing the girl's struggle through a rat-filled maze. An ambitious, strikingly illustrated moral fable that will give children much to look at; a special treat for quilters, too. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved