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|Sewing stories : Harriet Powers' journey from slave to artist|
Author: Herkert, Barbara
Harriet Powers learned to sew and quilt as a young slave girl on a Georgia plantation. Her quilts are now priceless examples of African American folk art.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 181547
Kirkus Reviews (08/01/15)
School Library Journal (08/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (00/01/16)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 08/01/2015 K-Gr 3—This picture book biography introduces readers to Harriet Powers, an African American artist who grew up as a slave and was freed by the end of the Civil War. As a young girl on a Georgia plantation, she learned how to make cloth, dye it using natural colorings, and make quilts with appliqué designs stitched on fabric. Powers married and became a wife and mother of five, using her skills as a quilter to help support her family. The story is told in a folksy, conversational tone. Multiple text boxes provide additional information in a clear, direct style, supporting the main text. Upbeat and cheerful, the mixed-media illustrations (a combination of digital art and gouache) present Powers in a positive light and provide details of her daily life. The endpapers feature reproductions of Powers's two existing quilts, and back matter includes an author's note, a photograph of the artist, and an explanation of each of the story quilts. Overall, this is an illuminating introduction to a largely unknown artist. However, teachers and librarians should be aware that there is a considerable amount of fictionalized dialogue: no sources are provided for the quotes from the subject. VERDICT Despite some limitations, this is a much-needed introduction to the life of a little known African American artist, with many possible curriculum connections: artists, quilters, women's history, and the Civil War.—Myra Zarnowski, City University of New York - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 09/01/2015 Harriet Powers was born a slave, lived in poverty, and probably died without knowing what a tremendous contribution she and her story quilts made to history, culture, and art. Sewing Stories brings to contemporary readers the old tradition of quilt making and appliqué. Powers’ earliest days were spent in the cotton fields where her family was enslaved, picking, weaving, and dyeing the cotton that eventually made its way into the fabric of her quilts. Pieced into the narrative of quilting traditions is the story of Powers’ own life: marriage, children, work, and endurance in the Jim Crow South. Just as seamlessly integrated are the book’s tender multimedia illustrations in collage, appliqué, and paint that render history, craft, and personal narrative inextricable from each other. Superimposed quilt squares of informational text supplement the biography like much-needed patches. Both of her quilts are displayed and explained in the back matter. Powers’ story is sure to inspire curiosity about quilting and its significance in African American history. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.