cover image Woven of the World

Woven of the World

Katey Howes, illus. by Dinara Mirtalipova. Chronicle, $17.99 (44p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7806-6

“Clack. Clack. Swish—pull back.” Howes (A Poem Grows Inside You) and Mirtalipova (Leila in Saffron) explore the technology of weaving across space and time. Inventive spreads feature a patient elder and an affectionate child, both portrayed with brown skin, and a playful blue cat alongside a loose chronology of weaving: “I imagine skeins of history/ unfurled across the room—/ wrapping me in warm tradition, crossing borders, spanning years,/ as the clack then swish of loom song/ carries stories to my ears.” Foregrounding decorative patterns and rounded human forms, Mirtalipova paints garments and textiles woven by artisans across China, Egypt, the Islamic civilization Al-Andalus, and many more. Meanwhile, the elder teaches the child how to weave, passing “much more than yarn between us/ as the loaded shuttle glides.” Paralleling the intricate patterns discussed, Howes’s rhythmically woven verse layers poetry and onomatopoeia. The beauty of decoration and embellishment, the multiplicity of practices, and the way knowledge is passed across generations and cultures are all celebrated in this story “of ties that bind us, one and all,/ no matter where we stand.” Back matter includes a visual weaving glossary and contextualizes the weaving cultures described. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Essie White, Storm Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Chrystal Falcioni, Magnet Reps. (Feb.)