cover image THE NAME QUILT


Phyllis Root, , illus. by Margot Apple. . FSG, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-374-35484-8

Root (Grandmother Winter) establishes her story's homespun rural atmosphere right from the start: "Summer evenings, after Sadie and Grandma chased fireflies and drank lemonade and wished on the first star, came the best part of vacations at Grandma's." The "best part" is hearing Grandma's yarns about the relatives whose names she has embroidered on a patchwork quilt. When Sadie points to a square labeled "Avonelle," for example, Grandma tells her how Aunt Nell used to ride the hogs. In an equally colorful, variegated style, Apple (Brave Mama) stitches together the specific story and the quilt that inspired the storytelling. The spread with Aunt Nell shows a girl astride a smiling hog, tromping fantastically across the suddenly gargantuan name quilt. The quilt blows away during a terrible storm, devastating Sadie, but she soon learns that family history is not so easily lost. Root makes the most of the simple, intimate anecdotes that flow between generations, and the crayon-looking drawings bespeak a rustic informality. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)