Papa and the Pioneer Quilt
Papa and the Pioneer Quilt
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Annotation: As her family travels by wagon train to Oregon, a young girl gathers scraps of cloth so that she can make a quilt.
Catalog Number: #13882
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
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Special Formats: Inventory Sale Inventory Sale
Publisher: Dial
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition Date: 2007
Illustrator: Bond, Rebecca,
Pages: 32
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-8037-3028-4 Perma-Bound: 0-605-12371-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-8037-3028-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-12371-7
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2005022983
Dimensions: 26 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Although Papa gets top billing, this story actually focuses on a young pioneer girl whose family is making the long trek from Missouri to Oregon by covered wagon. Along the way, the child collects bits of material to use in a quilt. The hardships faced by the travelers and the various opportunities to collect scraps form the core of the story. In keeping with the unadorned existence of the pioneers, the simple, softly colored illustrations adequately convey the straightforward text. The appeal of the quilts may draw children into this glimpse of life during the frontier days.
Horn Book
As her pioneer family journeys from Missouri to Oregon, young Rebecca collects scraps of cloth to keep in her quilt bag. When they finally get to Oregon, she hopes her father's "wandering feet" will stay put. Rebecca's narrative is quietly engaging. The expansive, light-filled acrylic illustrations display images both intimately homey (campfires and sunbonnets) and breathtaking (mountain passes and lush valleys).
Kirkus Reviews
Rebecca's Papa has wandering feet. In the spring when he and the family set out for Oregon by wagon train, she doesn't want to leave their Missouri farm, but her Mama said, "It's his dream, we have to go." Rebecca's feet feel worn out before they even get to Kansas. A new bride, who often walks with Rebecca, carries a copper kettle filled with fabric scraps she's saving for a quilt. As she shares the story of each fragment, Rebecca is inspired to collect her own pieces. Her first is her Grandma's tear-stained handkerchief; next is a piece of Papa's shirt from the time when he almost drowned in a river, then a friend's sunbonnet. After the six-month trek, the last piece in Rebecca's string bag is a piece of the dress she had worn every day of the arduous journey. Once settled in Oregon, her mother helps her sew the quilt in the "Wandering Foot" pattern. The quilt device is a nimble way of stitching together the episodes and human hardships of those who ventured west. Soft-edged acrylic illustrations convey a gentle perspective of the difficulties with the warm palette reflecting the courageous spirit of the pioneer family. (author's note) (Picture book/historical fiction. 5-8)
Publishers Weekly

Papa's wandering feet took Rebecca's family from her Pennsylvania birthplace to Missouri, and now they “have us wandering again.” Van Leeuwen's (the Oliver and Amanda Pig series) winsome tale follows their journey to Oregon by wagon train. Among the travelers is a bride who owns only a kettle filled with fabric scraps that she is sewing into a quilt. Rebecca likes the thought of turning “old bits of this and that into something new,” and Mama tells her that if she collects fabric, together they will sew a quilt. The first item the earnest young narrator puts into her string bag is the handkerchief Grandma gave her when they left (her “tears were still on it”). She subsequently adds Papa's ripped shirt, a sunbonnet another youngster gives her, her brother's tattered britches, a tablecloth she finds in an abandoned wagon and, once they triumphantly reach Oregon, the dress she wore each day of the journey. At night, in their cabin surrounded by the “finest farmland” Papa had ever seen, she and her mother stitch Rebecca's quilt—in a pattern Mama calls “Wandering Foot” (a concluding note explains the origin of that historical motif). Effectively evoking the era and the evolving landscape—expansive plains, towering mountains, sprawling valleys, endless sky—Bond's (Just Like a Baby) sun-drenched acrylic paintings also convey the pluck of these multigenerational pioneers. A deftly stitched period piece. Ages 4-up. (Apr.)

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-Papa's "wandering feet" have taken Rebecca's family many places, from Pennsylvania, where she was born, to Ohio, Indiana, and Missouri. Now he is moving them west again to Oregon: "I hear tell land out there is the finest a man could want." Although Rebecca longs to stay put, Mama explains that this is "Papa's dream." They set out in spring, and during the six-month journey, Papa nearly dies while crossing a river, little brother Harrison falls out of the wagon three times, and Rebecca makes friends with fellow travelers. She also starts to collect scraps of cloth for her quilt bag-from Papa's torn shirt, Mama's apron, her old travel dress. When they finally arrive at their destination, she sews a quilt, and she and her siblings sleep under the snuggly blanket in their Oregon cabin. An author's note explains that the pattern of Rebecca's quilt was a popular mid-19th-century design called "Wandering Foot" in celebration of the pioneer spirit, but that quilters eventually changed the name to "Turkey Tracks." Bond's excellent illustrations, done in acrylics on watercolor paper, provide an ideal dreamy background for the story. The smooth first-person narrative, appealing dialogue, and sunny artwork vividly capture a child's experience in the early days of the United States.-Lee Bock, Glenbrook Elementary School, Pulaski, WI Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (2/1/07)
Horn Book (4/1/08)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal
Wilson's Children's Catalog
Word Count: 1,129
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: P-2
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.0 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 114251 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:2.7 / points:1.0 / quiz:Q41333
Lexile: AD570L

This warmly engaging story--inspired by the Rwandering footS quilt pattern that was popular during pioneer days--is the moving account of an early American girl who chronicles her family's journey on the Oregon Trail through the quilt she's making. Full color.

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