Saturday, June 5, 2021

ABC and 123--Quilting in Children's Literature

Two staples of children's picture books are alphabet and counting books. They can include illustrations from any subject--including quilting!

Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Quilt Alphabet. Illustrated by James E. Ransome. Holiday House, 2001.  ISBN: 978-0823417650

Cline-Ransome, Lesa. Quilt Counting. Illustrated by James E. Ransome. SeaStar, 2002. ISBN: 978-1587171772

Lesa Cline-Ransome and her husband, James E. Ransome created this pair of books that use quilts to teach basic alphabet and number concepts. Cline-Ransome has written many books including the Coretta Scott King Honor Award winner, Finding Langston. James E. Ransome is a prolific illustrator and winner of numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Award for The Creation by James Weldon Johnson. 


Quilt Alphabet is a book of poetic riddles. Each page has (or in some cases, full spreads have) a letter, a poem, and an illustration.

Quilt Alphabet: P & Q spread

Readers can use the clues to deduce the word that starts with the indicated letter. The answers to each letter can be found on the last page.

Quilt Alphabet: Answers to clues

The lovely endpapers continue the quilt theme.

Quilt Alphabet: Endpapers

The second book, Quilt Counting, uses numbers to tell the story of the creation of a quilt. It begins in a farmhouse with three generations of a family who create a quilt featuring themes of the farm. The pages count upward from 1-10, then downward back to "one quilt." The upward counting uses illustrations of the necessary tools for making a quilt.


Quilt Counting: #8 spread

Quilt Counting: #9 & #10 spread


 The downward counting features farm themes captured in the quilt.

Quilt Counting: #4 spread

Quilt Counting: #1 spread (notice the sunflower in the quilt)

Quilt Counting also has a short "Note About Quilts" at the end that shares a bit of history of the quilting tradition.

Both of these are engaging books with beautiful illustrations. In future blog posts, we will see more from James E. Ransome; he has illustrated several children's book that share the theme of quilts.

Happy Quilting! 😸

A reminder--you can find my posts on Quilts in Children's Literature by clicking "Children's Literature" in the list of labels on the right-hand pane of this blog.

NOTE: I found my books used from I can highly recommend this site. Not only do they always have free shipping, but they also contribute a book to someone in need for every book you buy. I was not compensated for this recommendation--I just love doing business with them


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Happy Quilting,
The Eclectic Abuela