Friday, February 4, 2011

Review: Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson, ill. by Hudson Talbot

Synopsis: This is the story of a line of African-American women who sew Showway quilts, quilts that have pictures and symbols of the moon, stars and roads that show the way from the slave states to the free states. This line starts with the author's grandmother's grandmother's grandmother, who first taught her daughter to sew the quilts. It is a simple picture book, told in poetry.

Roughts: First, the pictures in this book are fantastic. They are draw to resemble quilts, but with vibrant color and movement. I got lost in the pictures and forget the words. That being said, the words themselves are poetical and have a sing-song rhythm. They make use of the vernacular of the African-American experience. The simplicity of the work only adds to the message - the idea of heritage, of family wisdom, of the connection we have to our past and the strength it can give us for the future. I have personal knowledge of this, as my mother quilts and my grandmother quilts. I have quilts from both of them and they are more then just bedclothes. There is a connection, a reminder of the love they have for me and the strength they bequeathed to me. I hope someday to quilt for my children.

7 of 10

Awards: Newbery Honor 2006

Date Finished: 2-4-2011
Pages: 22

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