Thursday, May 25, 2006

Non Fiction - Quilt of States

Quilt of States: Piecing Together America by Adrienne Yorinks (and contributions by 50 librarians across the nation) 2005

This juvenile book caught my eye first because of the quilt connection then the authorship indicating assistance from 50 librarians. Then seeing the publisher is National Geographic, which lends some support to its credibility, peaked my interest even more as I have in the past found most of their publications generally have appealing content. So, from here I grabbed the book up headed to check out and thought this is a book worthy of looking at. (I do usually find many good non-fiction books, but I seem to have difficulty in writing about them.)

Now, one of the other things that struck me right off hand was, I doubt seriously if any young gentleman would venture to check out a book with the word Quilt as the first word in the title. However, there are some that are desperate enough when it is crunch time for a paper and need a print resource.

So, off to the pages I went in search of enlightenment, which I did find. Following a brief historical introduction the states are arranged in the order in which they were admitted to the union. For each state the author created a quilt patch that artistically highlights what is found and/or unique about the state in a two page spread. For instance, Indiana's design includes a race car, cow, corn, state flower, etc., with the state shape and capital set apart in a distinctive manner. The state information is laid out to appear to be a part of the quilt and includes a very succinct description about the state. This included the state's "ownership" or territorial background, what needed to be done to join the union, and when this happened. The originator of the information is then credited.

Interspersed throughout the book are quilt designs of the United States and what its' territories and states comprised of at a particular time period. Compiled at the end of the book are helpful specific state facts arranged in alphabetic order. In addition, a contributor section is included briefly describing the person's position and authority basis for the information provided. (By the way, they were not all librarians.)

Overall, it is a really nice book. But, I really do not think it would be of any interest to students lower than 3rd grade and will probably be only of use to students in 5th grade due to their curriculum of U.S. history (at least those here locally). If you like U.S. trivia whether young or adult, this is a book that you would enjoy. If not, skip it unless you know someone in need of a quick print resource for a paper.

P.S. If you know a person you really is into quilts, they would like this book too. Really creative and artistic work. Another "kid" book that makes a good adult book.


Blogger Shelina said...

I have read this book. It is a wonderful concept. And the quilt was nice enough. The problem is with such a limited number of pages, it didn't fulfill my quilting urge, nor was there enough space to provide very much history.

3:00 PM  
Blogger PJ Librarian said...

Your right that it is a really good concept. One that I think is lost on placing it in the juvenile section of a library. Of course, that is probably why they skimped on the history information. The quilt idea was very interesting, but like you said just shy of fulfilling that creative spark. Maybe next time they will go completely toward the juvenile direction or add more to it to satisfy us adults.
P.S. Thanks for stopping by.

4:34 PM  
Blogger Chris Barton said...

It's an interesting idea, involving librarians in the creation of the book. Did that attract you to the book in the first place?

9:32 PM  
Blogger PJ Librarian said...

Actually, both the quilt idea and librarians did, but more the librarian aspect. I think librarians in general are an overlooked and valuable resource. With so much information available both in print and online, it takes someone I believe with experience and training to know how to glean through it all and come up with the most useful of resources.

11:25 AM  
Blogger Kyra said...

PJ Librarian,

I saw this book at BookExpo in Washington, DC early this year. The book theme fits a larger body of state quilt history books.


Kyra Hicks
author, Martha Ann's Quilt for Queen Victoria (new picture book!)

11:44 PM  

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