Masquerading as a warm little tale of a pioneer family, this book is actually totally creepy. The mom and the kids sew and make bean stew all day, and while the mom sews on her schoolhouse block quilt, the kids reminisce about the fire that nearly killed them all two years ago, and while one kid sews on her bear paw quilt, they all reminisce about the time Paw nearly got et by a bear. Fun.
I love this book. Swain presents four different pieces of art, and asks these imaginative little questions and draws these engaging full-page pictures about each one.
While my girlies aren't old enough for the concept behind this book, as a quilter I'm fascinated by how American slaves used symbology in their patchwork quilts. This story follows the path of a little girl who uses her mother's quilt as a map as she and her father escape to freedom in Canada. Nothing scary actually happens on the pages, so you'd also be able to ad-lib the words and just talk about the quilt blocks and the people who used them if you chose.
Another bittersweet story about a slave, this is a fictional account of the childhood of Marietta Tintoretto in Renaissance Venice. The illustrations are lifelike and beautiful, and it's an accurate slice of life picture of the Renaissance, although you'd have to also explain the concept of historical fiction here if you were homeschooling with this, say.
Okay, this is literature by no means, but it has sock monkeys! Real sock monkeys! And they're all dressed up and dancing and stuff!
I totally need to make some sock monkeys.