Saturday, June 26, 2021

An Adventure with Ruby: Quilting in Children's Literature

 Ruby is a children's picture book by Alison Lester, a writer and illustrator from Australia.

Lester, Alison. Ruby. Houghton, Mifflin, 1987. ISBN: 978-0395464779

Ruby's mother made her a patchwork quilt when Ruby was a baby. She loves it so much that she names it "Besty" because it is her best friend. In this book, Ruby's quilt helps her have the courage to face her fear--namely, the serpent she believes lives under her bed.


Ruby, Besty, and the serpent



Ruby and Besty fly away one night to an island where she saves the cubs of King Vidor and Queen Zinnia from an evil serpent.

Ruby and Besty saving the cubs

In return for this act of courage, Ruby received the Blue Bird of Bravery which was sewn onto Besty by Sir Uncle Elmo.

Blue Bird of Bravery award


Ruby and Besty return home, and when Ruby wakes the next morning, the Blue Bird "seemed to wink at her in the morning sun."

Notice the patchwork "serpent" under the bed.


Ruby's and Besty's adventure in the night lends courage to the girl, and she is able to confront that scary "serpent."

Ruby dons the "serpent" and is ready to face the day. 🐍


In this book, the quilt represents friendship and courage--specifically the courage that results from having a true friend by your side. The illustrations are in soft, dreamy colors, and it would make a great book to read at bedtime.


You can find more information about Alison Lester on her website


If you would like to hear the author read the book, a video is available HERE.

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