Stitches in Time Travel

Peter G. Reynolds, illus. by Michelle Simpson. Peter G. Reynolds, $8.99 paper (78p) ISBN 978-0-9952477-6-5
When 10-year-old Charlotte, who has brown eyes and is cued white, is sent with her four-year-old sister Beatrix to spend Christmas with Mother and Nana, at the slightly rundown, perpetually cold ancestral Gladstone Manor, Charlotte wishes she were with Mom instead. But after Nana’s suggestion to follow tradition and sew a square for the family Christmas quilt results in Charlotte exploring a speculative world centering the quilt itself, Charlotte begins to recognize the value of having family to come home to. Simpson’s cartoon-style b&w illustrations bring the detailed settings and droll characters to life as Charlotte communes with three of her ancestors in turn: the great-grandmother she’s never met, her Nana, and Mother, when they were each 10. Though Charlotte’s internal monologue is skews negative for much of the book, she eventually realizes she is grateful to have met the talented, kind women in her family tree. Seemingly inspired by Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Reynolds’s fast-paced novella offers a poignant look at family history, heirlooms, and the significance of preserving family stories. Ages 7–12. (Self-published)
Reviewed on : 10/14/2021
Genre: Children's
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