cover image The Patchwork Lady

The Patchwork Lady

Mary K. Whittington. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P, $13.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-15-259580-7

The Patchwork Lady is an eccentric young woman who dresses in plaids, argyles and checks--all at the same time. Her house is decorated in a similar mismatched style; she even has a ``spotted cat and . . . ring-tailed dog.'' One morning the Patchwork Lady gets a letter: ``COMPANY,'' she announces, and, five pages later, ``IS COMING.'' So she prepares for their arrival--cleaning, cooking, festooning ``scarves of silk: lilac, pink, and apricot.'' Unfortunately, by the time her guests show up, readers will no longer care who they are or why they have come. The excessive recitation of the patterns and textures that make up the Patchwork Lady's life is, after just a few pages, dizzying and tiresome. Though Dyer's ( Baby Bear's Bedtime Book ; Piggins ) watercolors are country-style pretty--and certainly calmer than the overly detailed text--the Patchwork Lady and her home are, finally, just too precious. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)