The Quiltmaker’s Journey by Jeff Brumbeau, illustrated by Gail de Marcken
Lovers of beautiful children’s books will remember The Quiltmaker’s Gift. Now this author/illustrator team has created a prequel. When the quiltmaker was a girl, she had everything. She grew up in the storybook equivalent of a gated community with all the money and servants she’d ever need. Her dining hall was so large, the servants had to ride bicycles to get from one end to the other. “Yet, she was as unhappy as she was rich.” The Elders of the town have severely warned the children not to try to leave, which encourages the young future-quiltmaker (we never learn her name) to rebel. She sneaks out and is scared and shocked by what she finds. The world outside the walls is full of poverty and suffering and hunger, but as she travels she finds that the generosity of these poor folks inspires her own, and she finally finds happiness. Becoming the quiltmaker is the natural extension. This is an epic story with each page full of rich illustrations.