Sunday, October 25, 2020

MGMM QUILT BLOCK HISTORY OF PIONEER DAYS

 ~ MIDDLE-GRADE HISTORICAL
NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK ~
--  'THE QUILT-BLOCK HISTORY
OF PIONEER DAYS:  
WITH PROJECTSKIDS CAN MAKE'  --
 AUTHOR MARY COBB
ILLUSTATOR JAN DAVEY ELLIS
 


 ABOUT THE BOOK {from Goodreads}:

This fun and interesting book presents the history of American pioneers by describing the quilts they made, linking common experiences they had with various quilt patterns. Projects that kids can make are also included - a great way to bring history to life!

-and- 

{from the Educational Resources Information Center @ ERIC.ed.gov}:

The uses and techniques of quilt making are presented in this book which focuses on the quilt patterns as allegory for pioneer history. Pioneer experiences are described and linked visually with appropriate quilt patterns. An activity accompanies each pattern presentation. The work is organized into 10 chapters: (1) "Quilts and History: A Simple Nine-Patch Collage"; (2) "Saying Good Bye: Quilt- Block Bookmarks"; (3) "Going West: Broken Dishes Puzzle"; (4) "Building the Cabin: House-On-A-Hill and Pine-Tree Border"; (5) "Inside the Cabin: Shoofly Box"; (6) "Work to Do: Bear's Paw Greeting Card"; (7) "Food and Clothing: Corn-and-Beans Recipe Folder"; (8) "Special Occasions: Dresden Plate Punch Work" (9) "Weather: Sunshine and Shadows Weather Diary"; and (10) "Following a Star: Hanging Windmill Star." The book concludes with suggestions for further reading and an index.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR, JAN DAVEY ELLIS {from the Charlesbridge Publishing website}:

Jan Davey Ellis is a native of Ohio. She received her B.F.A. in Painting from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Jan spent most of her childhood reading. She pored over the illustrations of her favorite books, studying the intricate drawings. She took art lessons at the Cleveland Museum of Art, moving from gallery to gallery with a little collapsible canvas stool and drawing boards, in order to sketch different works of art.

When her children were small, Jan would help them to make little pop-up books with secret flaps that lifted up to reveal surprises. She painted her daughter's bedroom with a well-sized mural of a pastoral farm scene. The mural became the basis of a business that she started in collaboration with interior designers to paint walls and furniture. A friend saw her work and convinced her to illustrate her first children's book, MUSH! Across Alaska In The World's Longest Sled Dog Race, by Patricia Seibert (The Millbrook Press).

Jan is the illustrator of Turn of the Century by Ellen Jackson. She says that during her art lessons at the Cleveland Museum of Art, her favorite area was the hall of medieval armor and weaponry. Jan remembers this room as "pivotal in her appreciation and yearning for the images of other times and places." While illustrating Turn of the Century, Jan had the chance to draw and explore 1000 years of history for children.

When she is not busy drawing and painting. Jan enjoys gardening, tennis, jogging, animals, and daydreaming. She has taught after-school enrichment classes and she once built a thirty-foot Chinese dragon with one of her classes.

EXCERPT {Courtesy of the Publisher}:  https://lernerbooks.com/shop/show/10910#wow/11

MY THOUGHTS:

This book was published in 1995 while I was teaching primary grades. I used this book in my classroom as a read-aloud and also as a social studies thematic supplemental text because of the pioneer movement and how it brought many new citizens to our state, California.
 
Besides being filled with excellent historical information, one of the features of this book which I really enjoy is the way in which it is organized. The ten chapters are listed in the above 'About the Book' section of this post from the entry I found on ERIC. (The link is to this post is also provided above.)

The illustrations and activity sheets (blacklines are provided in the book) are very well done. The drawings of the quilt blocks, the chapter headings, and other drawings that present the book's historical text visually enrich the information presented by the author.
 
The activities are varied and interesting. The projects can be made with a minimum of expense because students can used crayons, paint, or colored pencils to complete their quilt projects rather than fabric. I have been sewing for many, many years, so I had a lot of scraps of cotton available. I used to prepare a culinating quilt project from this book by cutting enough scraps for every student to have a fabric project to take home. It was great fun!

I highly recommend this book for teachers, librarians, scout leaders, youth group leaders, day camp leaders, and especially families. Children love to make projects based on a book they have enjoyed, so this gem is the perfect recipe for a successful learning experience--in my humble opinion.

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Find the links to read more great Marvelous Middle-Grade Monday posts from middle-grade authors and bloggers at Greg Pattridge's 'Always in the Middle' Blog.

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Find the links to more great 'It's Monday! What Are You Reading?' (#IMWAYR) posts for children's and Young Adult books over at the Unleashing Readers website.

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7 comments:

  1. How cool that kids can do the projects by coloring as well as sewing the quilt. Sounds like a great book that teaches kids on many levels.

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  2. It’s interesting that the patterns are an allegory of pioneering history. Sounds like a great, hands-on way to immerse kids in learning.

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  3. June, I loved how you used this book in your classroom to teach about pioneers settling the country. And what better way to interest students than to create a themed quilt about the early experiences of the pioneers. The book layout certainly would help. What a fascinating book! Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I taught a pioneer unit for several years and this book would have been a perfect fit. Thanks for featuring an introducing this to all of your readers on MMGM.

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  5. What a cool book! I often have questions about quilt block histories - like this log-cabin quilt my great grandma made...

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  6. This sounds like such a wonderful book! I love that the activities are easy to complete. Thanks for the wonderful review!

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  7. You always find the most interesting books. Thanks for telling me about this one. It sound terrific. I will check it out.

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