Papa and the Pioneer Quilt

by Jean Van Leeuwen and Rebecca Bond

Rebecca’s father has wandering feet. Her family has already moved from Pennsylvania... read more

Rebecca’s father has wandering feet. Her family has already moved from Pennsylvania to Ohio to Indiana to Missouri. Now, they’re off to Oregon with other pioneers. Rebecca’s trip west is marked by stories for each piece of fabric she collects for a keepsake quilt she plans to make at journey’s end. Her father’s shirt was torn in a treacherous river crossing. The girl she walked across Kansas with donated her bonnet before they parted ways. A tablecloth along the trail was abandoned by earlier travelers who had to lighten their load before crossing the mountains, just as Rebecca’s family has to leave some of their own precious keepsakes behind. Rebecca’s faded dress at journey’s end is as much a testament to her resiliency as the quilt she finally makes during her family’s first winter in Oregon. Jean Van Leeuwen’s spirited story is graced by Rebecca Bond’s folksy illustrations rendered in faded tones suggestive of worn fabric. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2008

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