Mooshka, A Quilt Story

Julie Paschkis, Author, Julie Paschkis, Illustrator
Julie Paschkis. Peachtree, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-56145-620-8
Reviewed on: 01/16/2012
Release date: 03/01/2012
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“Mooshka” is the name that Karla has for her beloved patchwork quilt. Whenever she needs comforting, she touches one of the patches and imagines that it tells her a story of her family. “When your mother was just your age, she thought she could fly,” says the red patch. “She made me into a cape and jumped out of the cherry tree.” But even Mooshka can’t comfort Karla when a new baby sister arrives—until Karla realizes that, as a big sister, the stories and the gifts of a storyteller reside within her. Drawing on the vibrant colors, tableau compositions, and cheery graphic motifs of pan-European folk art, illustrator Paschkis (Pablo Neruda: Poet of the People), making her debut as an author, elevates her story beyond a familiar tale of displacement anxiety. The elaborately rendered graphic elements and borders aren’t just for aesthetics; attentive readers will note that they act as a kind of emotional barometer for Karla, vanishing when she feels threatened and returning once she willingly steps into her role as a wise older sibling. Ages 4–8. Agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt Agency. (Mar.)