When you head to the library or bookstore this weekend with the kiddos, keep an eye out for The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and illustrated by Gail de Marcken.
As a heaping-helping antidote to the greediness that besets the holiday season, The Quiltmaker’s Gift by Jeff Brumbeau is a good story, beautifully illustrated, with a not-so-subtle message about the relationship between stuff and happiness.
The King accumulates stuff in an effort to find happiness. He has so much, and yet he is still not happy. The villagers know of a Quiltmaker who spends her days making quilts and then coming to the village to place them over the hunched back of a poor villager. Her quilts are exquisite and her kindness is unusual. The king considers this may be the just the thing to give him happiness, and he demands that she make him a quilt.
The Quiltmaker eventually agrees but with one stipulation: she will only add a square for each item the king gives away. What follows is a lesson in generosity that will give the King both what he thought he wanted and what he did want. And the King keeps a special gift to give the Quiltmaker, too.
A beautiful story with vibrant, swirling, colorful illustrations. The word count is higher in this one so your really littles may not be inclined to sit through the whole thing, but the story is pieced together page by page in building storytelling tradition with the overarching narrative being supplemented by minor challenges and building tension. Exquisite.